OWFS supports HD44780 character LCDs on the 1-wire bus. The most common interface is with a DS2408 8-pin GPIO to 1-Wire chip. The interface from hobby-boards runs the display in 4-bit mode, so 3 GPIO lines are left over for buttons and whatnot. I based my design on their schematic.
The SOIC8 is an NE555 in monostable mode. It provides timed backlight control. When a button is pressed the backlight will stay on for about 20 seconds then turn off.
OWFS (theoretically) supports this interface with the LCD_H module.
In ideal-land I'd hook up my hobby-boards clone and type
printf "Hello World">/ow/29.xxxxxxxxxx/LCD_H/message
and that would actually work. Well, as it turns out: Not so much.
It would seem that OWFS 2.7p13-1 has a broken LCD_H module. I've tested with 2.6.5 in an Ubuntu VM where it worked fine. With 2.7p13-1 however, all I got was garbage for the output.
There's a bug report here, that may or may not describe the same issue. If it does then it would seem that the bug has been ignored for several years. Nice!
Problem is I'm not ready to devote days to building a crosscompile environment for mips/OpenWrt because of some random bug. Since byte-based access to the GPIO-port worked it was faster to just re-implement the protocol. Which I did.. in PHP.. (it's just a testing script at this point, so adapt as needed if you wish to use it. Should be easy to figure out.)