got some DL1414 too and I like them. I've build me a sample shield for one DL1414 and I have some boards with 4 of them on it.
Indeed handling of these is as simple as described above. Thus one can make it still easier
I created a sketch with some function to set a digit or write a char on up to 4 DL1414.
Still this is work in Progress since I did not yet find the time to implement the whole charset.
But once I finished it, It will be available open source for everyone (cc-by-nc).
So if anyone is interested in this...