As the available computing power of affordable microcontrollers continues to increase, the line between them and the lower tier of application processors capable of running Linux-based operating systems inevitably becomes blurred. For the most part, a microcontroller takes care of behind-the-scenes tasks, but as many projects here have demonstrated, they can also be quite capable when it comes to user-facing applications. Now [Andy Green] extended the possibilities with affordable silicon, producing a proof-of-concept HTML + CSS renderer on h2 on ESP32 for libwebsockets. Surfing the web on a microcontroller without just a textual experience? Why not!
He freely admits that it’s far from a full HTML renderer, in that it parses and renders HTML and CSS with support for JPEG and PNG images, it only does so with a subset of HTML and does not tolerate any malformation. There is also no JS support, which is hardly surprising given the resources available.
Even with these limitations, it’s still an impressive piece of work, which we hope can one day make efforts to display Hackaday on ESP32 devices such as badge.team European conference badges. A project to watch for sure!