So that makes it OK then? Or does it make it yet another circuit designed to destroy components?
4 in series with each of the digits?
I had seen some references to putting high currents into LEDs
but I assumed that a commercially sold board would have investigated the ramifications of this and found out that the design was OK.
The problem with that is as more segments come on more current is drawn therefore more voltage is dropped across the resistor. That means that the digit's brightness depends on the number of segments that are on. So you get a bright 1 and a dim 8. The resistors need to be in each segment so 8 it is.
Thing is, even commercial designs are made by people, with all the variability that implies
Either they are badly designed, built to a (low) price, or both.
It is the peak current that is important not the average current when considering component ratings.
... in fact in most cases you are criticised for not making it cheap enough. In fact in my last job that was written into our contracts.