This addresses an issue the NodeMCU community touched on several times in the past, most recently in fall 2016.
I stated that based on my experience doing NodeMCU user support it should be a lot simpler to flash NodeMCU for Windows users.
- A number of flashing tools are available but only two are actively maintained: esptool-ck and esptool.py. Only one is endorsed by Espressif: esptool.py (they hired the developer(s)).
- 70% of the users of my nodemcu-build.com service are on Windows.
- BUT Windows doesn’t come with Python installed – which is required for esptool.py.
- BUT Windows users in general are more reluctant to use the CLI than Linux/Mac users – which is required for esptool.py.
Conclusion: this is not a comfortable situation for NodeMCU’s largest user group.
For quite a while I planned to write a self-contained GUI tool which would use esptool.py in the background. It should primarily target Windows users but since I’m on Mac it should be cross-platform. Even though I had never used Python before I felt confident to pull this off.
- Uses the cross-platform wxPython GUI framework. I also tried PyForms/PyQt4 but settled for wxPython.
- Requires absolutely minimal user input.
- The esptool.py “console” output is redirected to a text control on the GUI.
- Uses PyInstaller to create self-contained executable for Windows and Mac. The packaged app can run standalone i.e. without installing itself, a Python interpreter or any modules.