over the last ten years we are working on implementing on open source solution for networked PLCs utilizing the IEC 61499 standard with the Eclipse 4diac open source project (www.fordiac.org). We just did a new release last week and I thought this could be interesting for this community.
4diac already runs not only on RaspberryPI or BeagleBone Black but also on real PLCs like PLCs from Wago, Bachmann Electronic, MicroControl, Bosch Rexroth. We are working on getting it onto more hardware. If you think you have hardware 4diac is suited for please let me/us know.
As open source project we heavily rely on the feedback of our users. So if you give 4diac a try I would be really happy to hear what you have to say about it. Either in here, in our forums, or if you like also privately to me.
Looking forward to your feedback,
I for one, would love to. But it looks like it would take me quite a while to even figure out how to do so.
How would I get a glimpse, without spending a week or two and possibly learning German?
I think you are referring to the 4 German you tube videos developed by the Vienna University of technology for their students. Unfortunately we haven't found time to sub-title them or do also different language versions of them.
But we provide a very detailed documentation and tutorials  in English. I hope this will get you started quite easily.