As of this writing, FlexDash is in early alpha state. The general functioning of the dashboard itself (i.e. the code running in the browser) is fairly robust and has been used in several projects. However, the Node-RED integration and some of the ramifications are not polished. The main known issues are listed below.
One of the reasons FlexDash and its integration into Node-RED have an 'alpha' status is that the way certain things work may change, forcing users to rebuild their dashbaords.
This already happened very early on when the FlexDash node names were changed to have an "fd" prefix, e.g., "button" became "fd button". At that time no-one was using FlexDash so it was an easy decision.
At the time of writing this, a similar change is looming, which is to switch from having dozens of core nodes to having a single generic "FlexDash Widget" node that has a "widget type" selector. In that case, the current nodes can be maintained for a while giving time to migrate, but eventually this will create some migration work for early adopters.
Big picture issues
- There are more unknown issues than known issues 😉
- FlexDash uses the Vuetify set of UI components and more specifically, the Vuetify 3 beta version which still has a lot of quirks. Some of the positioning of elements is messed-up, in particular overlays and pop-ups are problematic. Some desirable UI elements, such as data tables, tree view, date picker, etc have not yet been ported from version 2.
- Support for subflows has hard limitations, such as only supporting one level of subflows, and its implementation uses some dirty tricks due to limitations in Node-RED's flow editor.
- The Node-RED integration overall relies on a large set of assumptions about the (undocumented) inner workings of Node-RED and the flow editor. This is bound to result in corner cases that do not function well. Specific areas of concern are projects, disabled flows, and export/import of flows.
- Editing a FlexDash node in the flow editor uses
typed inputinput fields which have various issues with
defaults for boolean values,, not supporting the input of multi-line strings,
nullas object or string values
not supporting a color picker, and more. An input field better suited for FlexDash is badly needed.
- There is no authentication for dashboard users in the Node-RED integration. FlexDash supports very basic auth but the integration doesn't. This is a to-do item.
- While it is possible to develop new FlexDash widgets with instant "hot module reload" of changes there is no support for quick dynamic widgets equivalent to the "UI template" node in the "old" Node-RED dashboard. Support is planned (and was there with Vue 2) but needs to be reimplemented.
- FlexDash does not deal with the browser's history. E.g., the back button does not work as one would expect when switching between tabs and reloading the page switches to the initial tab.
A list of issues is kept in the README of the node-red-flexdash repo.