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HOT or NOT: OPEN SOURCE HMI !! Yes or No ... Wish Lists?

So, it is time once again to discover what interest still exists. If there is enough actually interest remaining, the project might get the green light this time.

Okay, so here is the latest skinny: 

1) The Nextion Editor HMI is closed source between TJC and Itead Studios. This will continue as such and will not be changing.

2) There was in the past a lot of interest in having an open source edition, but the answer at that time was a no go.

3) Now, there is finally recognition that many many users had wanted an open source direction.  With a new design (I imagine not exactly like the Nextion), then it may actually be able to realize an open source edition.

The hardware would made by Itead Studios, with editor, firmware and source by users.  This was first suggested so long ago, that there may or may not be any current interest remaining.  So we need to know just how much interest there is.  If sufficient we might get the green light - and if not enough, then nothings changes.


Keeping it within this thread (so Jerry can see the current user interest) - post what it is that you would want in an open source HMI.  You can post desired hardware, to desired HMI features.  All answers are acceptable.

If you are highly skilled in programming and wish to contribute to the original open source, then keep an eye on this thread for the request for programmers when the time becomes appropriate.

When you post a requested feature or wish list:
- it may be useful if you state if you are merely looking for the feature or
- if you would be able to provide the coding for that feature.

So YES or NO to Open Source - is interest still alive or is it dead.

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I am going to add that there are some good people out there and those well experienced with the Nextion Hardware.  I've also had many conversations about Open Sourcing the Nextion.  So when I used the "tyre kickers" it wasn't to state that everyone is a "tyre kicker", but I will guarantee 90% of those looking for the Open Sourced Nextion code had no intentions of any writing code and making a contribution.  And I suppose it is running into that class so many times with no signs of a community effort towards getting it done - and somewhere in between there - I lost my faith in it ever happening.

I talked Jerry Shi into considering a user written RTOS version, at least give it a listen.  That is how this thread got started, to see if the idea of Open Source had any embers left.  What we have to show Jerry after 4 months in no way by any means would make him consider it other than a whim without results.  That's fact.

Well Scruff.r

The reasons Itead is not going to open source the existing .. is legal.

And we don't have any debate there.  The partner says no.

But I am not debating Open Source, I am making statements as to Nextion Open Source.

A firmware 2.0 if you will, that would run on Nextion Hardware

I know the number of lines I have coded, and the countless hours I have put in.

Six months have come and gone, 4 for this thread alone.

In the beginning, I was very gung-ho.  But now it seems if I succeed, it will be

for a academic process, too much effort without matching contributions

"Somebody has got to do the hardwork for free and then give up their code to public

No one else wrote any lines of code, so have no faith in anything materializing"

"I see many wanting others work but none willing to do said work"

Patrick, I can live with the full-stop argument about legal reasons or general unwillingness to open source, but I can't quite follow these other arguments. 

"Somebody has got to do the hardwork for free and then give up their code to public"

Others have done that from the word go, and have gained respect and contributors on their side. 

I'm a big fan of and they have commited themselves to open source from the beginning - and it pays. 

Granted, they had invested a lot of brain power into their first firmware and then open sourced it. But they would have had to write that anyway, even if they kept the lid on it (so it's never for free, but an inevitable, fundamental prerequisite for the "success" of the hardware product). 

But by open sourcing they "added value" to their hardware and made it attractive for people to buy their kits and some of them also filed (sometimes minor, sometimes major) PRs on their repos. 

On the other hand, I'd not be willing to write any line of code to support the open sourcing of a product that will never open source - why should I, or anybody else? That'd be a stranded investment.

Calling people "tyre kickers" who first want a faint signal of willingness before investing time seems haughty IMHO. 


In four months there isn't even Hello World. so

I see many wanting others work

but none willing to do said work

I gave up on this many moons ago.

I have had this conversation too many times by tire kickers.

So the Nextion is closed source - end of story and period. Legal reasons.

So how does open source happen?

Somebody has got to do the hardwork for free and then give up their code to public

No one else wrote any lines of code, so have no faith in anything materializing

I am producing custom equipment and my production quantity is not much. So if i develop hmi display like nextion  it takes time and unit price getting high.  i am still looking hardware like nextion to develop custom firmware. So if they will make it open source i will support them.

Very good idea..

Hardware is pretty enough so many projects  but software isnt. 

Both Gerhard Kropf and myself are working towards bettering our skillz in the bare metal STM32 series.

I am a pascal programmer, with experience in

Delphi2009 (Desktops), Kylix3 (Linux Website CGIs), and now building up mikroPascal (STM32 mcus)

I am certainly not as seasoned with the STM32s ... yet

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First start could be to make an inventarisation of the needs. Could be the current set of features with a clear definition how it have to work and how to communicate (uart/i2c/spi ascii?) with the host-controller.


OK, Patrick redirected me from the topic "Inventarisation of requests" to this tread. I missed this discussion because I dropped the Nextion displays a year ago because the restrictions where to big (communication/api to complex/cryptic, limited graphics capabilities, overloaded with functions that belong to the host-controller, design is not portable to the other sizes, etc.), but I liked the concept very much.

I like the idee of an open source version (firmware and editor) build on the existing hardware. But then we need bare metal programmers (STM32) and application programmers (platform independent, Java?). I worked on Fontys University in the Netherlands (I'm now retired), maybe I can make them interested. They use the Nextion Displays in third party projects.

So... I am interested and could contribute in the firmware (C/C++).


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So this is the list of those interested after a month.  Perhaps not as big of a list as I imagined.

Did anyone started on any code?

Hey folks, thanks !! for the support received so far. 

I love the idea of making it open source. There are many developers out there that think the Nextion has a lot of potential, including myself. I agree with Martin and would like to expand as well. 

Firmware (I could contribute)

Open sourcing the firmware I believe will quickly increase uptake of the Nextion in products. Allowing companies to "white label" with custom firmware update screen, control of firmware testing, etc relieves the fear of using the Nextion. I look at as a great example, they sell the hardware at a great price and open source the software. 

I see areas where your customers can help

  • Testing development
  • Implementing "requested features"
  • Fixing bugs

GUI Editor (I could contribute):

The GUI editor would be a great to open source. There are several features that could be implement such as code generation to support arduino/ other libraries. As well, localization of the GUI editor could allow Nextion to reach larger markets.


Help generate the documentation to get/ help companies get various certifications when using the Nextion in a product. FCC, UL, etc.

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Great idea!
I ran into Nextion just a few days ago and do not have any hardware at hand yet. Will order.
I'm really interested to join the team as best I can.
I see 7 areas of interest:
- hardware
- firmware
- GUI editor
- definition of a proper API
- libraries, at least C/C++
- decent documentation
- licensing

Will/can the current hardware be used (purchased/licensed?) or will it be redone (license for that)? I get it that currently a STM32 is implemented. A slight redesign to accommodate STM32's with larger memory capacity would be no big deal, technically. Perhaps there are design flaws the teams is aware of, so that copuld be solved as well, if necessary. Could contribute.
I've learned that firmware is a linear, sequential approach. Nothing event driven. This could be changed, if necessary, and does not infer implementation of some sort of RTOS, which would be an overkill. Just a different firmware design. Could contribute.
GUI Editor:
No ideas to that currently, as I'm a hardware/firmware guy mainly. Only contribution could be user experience/testing.
Definition of a proper API:
Prerequisite for the user libraries. Input should come from those having a thorough experience implementing the Nextions in projects. Could contribute regarding the doing.
No real picture yet.
Decent documentation:
Well, here we start from scratch in my perception. Is there anything sensible around? Could contribute.
Buy or make? Which 3rd party intellectual property will be required? Everything from scratch?

So, what's the idea?

Just my 5 cents for a starter.

KR Martin

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Always open source is welcomed, because users extend that for their necessities , which are not

always offered by manufacturers.

 I'm not a person with skills in programming, as you see it :)  , but I have many idea for what I can do it with that nice display, and maybe in future with your help, that becomes possible.

 so, Yes, I am for !

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