Into the ongoing fieldbus wars enters Ethernet


Thread Starter

Curt Wuollet

(cross-posted to LinuxPLC mailing list)
"Paul H. Gusciora" wrote:

> Subject: Manufacturing.Net Newsletter Issue 183
> Email Newsletter from Manufacturing.Net --
> Instrumentation and Control
> Into the ongoing fieldbus wars enters Ethernet, which is now
> being used to connect controllers with remote I/O modules as
> a fieldbus. Get the scoop at:

Yes, it's a shame, our good friend ethernet will be corrupted, abused and have its good open nature perverted completely. Even as we speak, the same bunch of greedy fools who have given us
the fieldbus wars are racing to plop a hundred different incompatible proprietary protocols on top of the most successful open protocols on the planet, the internet suite of protocols. A year from now, everything will run on ethernet and none of it will interoperate. And the clueless will wonder why ethernet doesn't seem any better than any other FB.

They just don't get it, these greedy fools, ethernet, TCP/IP, UDP, and the others became absolutely ubiquitous standards on the basis of sharing and cooperation. The best that they can hope for is a tiny piece of the market that they fragmented. It's a shame that nothing and no one can dissuade them from repeating failed strategies from the past. It's an enormous waste of resources and will serve mostly to propel people towards open standards.

I think there is a surprise coming as they try to integrate with the rest of the ethernet/TCP/IP speaking world. Proprietary is a dirty work in the IS domain already. Even Microsoft, the epitome of the embrace, extend, destroy philosophy speaks TCP/IP and is learning that its perversion and decommoditization of open
protocols can backfire.

The only thing missing is an Open Source, GPL'ed Industrial Ethernet protocol. Perhaps one of the protagonists will finally look at what is to be gained from the creation of another tower of Babel
and take the alternate, popular, goodwill strategy of opening its protocol and becoming the good guy, with the recognition and gratitude that would ensue. They might even glimpse that that is a far larger opportunity than to be an also ran in a fragmented and crowded market. After all, Deming's definition of insanity is when you keep doing things the same way and expect the results to be different. And perhaps the chance to actually gain a majority market share might overcome the NIH mindset. But, sadly, I expect less.


Curt Wuollet