This is my take on an mbed development board to support different LCD sizes.
The three sizes shown here are 20x4, 16x2, and 8x2. Some LCD screens have a single row of 16 pins. Others have two columns of seven (or eight) pins. I developed this board to not hard-wire any connections except those dedicated on the mbed itself. The LCD screen can be wired up in 4-bit (shown) or 8-bit mode using any available I/O lines. Additional sockets are provided for USB host, USB device, Ethernet MagJack, and microSD. Four switches with sockets are also provided.
As most everything was socketed and not hard-wired, there's a lot of solder bridges connecting the sockets. 14 or 16 of the LCD socket connections are wired together in a mass of wire under the board. This allows using jumper wires for just the top 16 wire socket, and plugging in any of the three LCDs that I have. One of the LCDs was modified to grab power from the 2x7 socket. Another has an additional two leads that are socketed. The reason for the two different 2x7 sockets was that the functions of pins 1/2 were reversed on the 16x2 LCD display. Alternatively, I could have used a switch or relied on changing the jumper wires.
The microSD has 7 connections, so just provided a 7x2 socket, and this requires jumpering the lines to the mbed. I can then choose which SPI connections to make, and what line to be the chip select and/or card detect. I attach a microSD breakout board from SparkFun.
The Ethernet MagJack is hard wired except for the LEDs. A specific breakout board from SparkFun is required.
A USB device jack is socketed to support a mini USB device breakout board. Alternatively a USB-A cable can be connected.
Power (3.3V) and ground buses are included, hard wired to the mbed.