What is happening with ESP8266 Development

Lots of exciting possibilities for the little chip but nothing concrete. The FRANKENSTEIN development gets more promising by the day, he’s even thinking about adding a LUA interpreter to his own offering. The LUA development has seen nothing new for a couple of days. The fellow who developed the original web server using the ESP8266 (NOT the LUA version) has made no further changes as far as I’m aware and his implementation has a severe issue in that if you do not already have an IP address setup, it can’t do a search for access points. Meanwhile today, in theory, ESPRESSIF will put out an update to their AT command set code.

Could be an interesting weekend. For links to everything see my previous blog posts.


Peter Scargill


19 thoughts on “What is happening with ESP8266 Development

  1. Hello Peter,

    I looks like ESPRESSIF uploaded new stuff for the 8266. I had done an update on the unit once before using the XTCOM_UTIL and a single bin file. Looking at what was uploaded, there seems to be quite a few files. Is there something I am missing as far as I can’t seem to find the one .bin file like before. Is the updating of the unit a different procedure now as opposed to the last time?

    Thanks for your help….


  2. Right – that’s my work for the night cut out.. I’ve just spent the last couple of hours getting to grips with Visual Studio Community so I can make my own LUA uploader for Windows – now this and a potential Windows compiling environment… slightly excited!

  3. Hello Peter. I’m “the fellow who developed the original web server”.

    The Lua code of the webserver has a function in it to connect to an AP, provided you know your ssid and password. The Lua source starts with this function, use of the function is in the source and in doc file I just uploaded to the ESP8266 forum.

    Thanks for this blog, it helps open up info on the ESP.

    • Hi thanks Gerard?

      If I recall correctly, the original webserver works fine (excellently in fact) as long as you have already setup an IP address. I’ve seen your code go and look for access points, find them etc.. but am I not right in saying there was a bug in that if you had a brand new board, it would not work? Incidentally there is a new 9.2.3 version of the SDK – are you planning on recompiling for that?

      • Hi Peter,

        Just to be sure, I’m the (just) the guy that made the LUA based web server. Just a humble guy here, did not get the change (or the urge) to compile from an SDK.

        So yes, my webserver will probably be SDK-9.2.3. but for me it will have to come as a free bonus coming with the Lua firmware.

        How about looking into the progress on my little Lua webserver example and publish about it on your blog. Traffic and responses on the ESP8266 is rather low now, would be nice if others would engage.

        Perhaps I’m doing something that nobody is interested in, but hey… it’s just for my personal amusement.

        Like your blog, good look with that, I enjoy reading it.

  4. Hi
    I’ve had no luck compiling from the SDK. Now I have a Windows version (CYGWIN) I may have more luck but right now that’s throwing up errors even on the AT demo. Ok I’m confused now as I’m only aware of one LUA version. Could you please put the link to your Lua webserver in here and I’ll be happy to write about it. Don’t worry too much about no-one being interested – we’re all interested and I’m particularly interested in LUA – but the implementation I’ve seen of LUA up to how has a horrible memory leak problem.


  5. I’ve just twigged that the “nodeMCU” firmware is the Lua interpreter. I’m playing with the ESPRESSIF code released this morning (after a previous version came out last night with bugs) – the BIN files work though they still don’t tell us where to put them – but the AT code will not compile in the CYWIN for Windows environment. Like you much of this is about pleasure and trying to compile code is not giving me any pleasure at all 🙂 I’ll go check the link, thanks.

  6. Ah, right I’m with you now. Yes, I’ve used the Lua interpreter many times – and I can see that your file would make a great tool – but for one thing – the Lua interpreter leaks badly. Last conversation I had, I believe both the interpreter needs a little work – but also an email has gone off to ESPRESSIF as it looks like their SDK is also leaking memory. So I made some code to allow transparent TCP/IP connection – so that a mobile APP could turn 2 LEDS on and off. Worked a TREAT and I was about to publish the details, but I noticed if I turned the APP on and off on my phone – so that perhaps there would be partial information going back and forth, eventually the LUA interpreter would reboot.

    I put a display of the HEAP out of the serial and sure enough, sometimes when the phone application was closed and opened, the memory would drop – and never return. Eventually the LUA interpreter would die. I’m waiting to hear of updates to the LUA interpreter but there have been only tiny fixes recently and the memory leak still exists. I’ll try the latest version later today and try your init file.

    • Yes, I saw your posts on the ESP8266 about the memory-monster. Some 20K of heap space for Lua is quite low, and hardly enough for some serious application on the ESP.

      During development on the web server I had no problems with running out of heap space. 50 times refreshing a webpage every 1 second reduced the heap space, bit a never ran out.

      I’m sure the Lua environment is not perfect, but I’m amazed on the quality of the first releases. Great for prototyping, and that’s all I need right now.

      I read posts about appearing micro python and other Lua interpreters, but the nodeMCU is working and rather complete.

  7. The A/D function requires a pin I think on the ESP-04 ?? I’m using ESP-01s and my soldering skills though great are not quite up to soldering wires onto the chip pins. I DO wish the ESP-01 designers had brought out those extra pins – even onto pads would have done.

    • Bummer! Got the same ESP-01, and am also scared to solder a wire to the TOUT pin. Kind of frustrating, my IOT/WEBserver reads, displays and send the ADV value, but have no means tot test it yet. Guess after my current SW activities I will warm up the old soldering iron.

  8. Something just occurred to me – confusion… when I said “the webserver” – the one I was originallt referring to was not LUA based. The one I was thinking about is able to turn things on and off, sitting on your WIFI network – OR if it does not know your router, to act as a router itself and webserver – and serve up a page to let you pick your router! It does this using the 9.2.2 version of the SDK and there’s a bug. I could see with a little development, your code could do a similar job – but again, it all depends on the stability of the LUA interpreter.

    I also found when loading up functions it frequently runs out of RAM – which means you need to wrap the routines in a FILE mechanism to store them as a file and then “call” the file. This started to get painful so last night I started writing my own Windows serial terminal in Visual Studio which could optionally wrap a line or lines with the file management stuff.. It’s almost there at which point I will have a play with your code – but this is a great starting point. Trying it out now.

    • The nodeMCU painfully lacks support from the PC side. By not having at least a kind of upload tool, it scares away several potential users.

      I now use luatool to upload my source to init.lua. That works reliable.

      Nice that you’re developing an IDE fur uploading.

      In my dreams I hope to get to the stadium that I can upload to the ESP from a webpage running on the ESP. If that’s technical feasible I could run the ESP “wifi-only” after the initial Lua firmware + web server upload.

      Plenty of ideas, too little time.

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