LonWorks and EIA-709, was Publish/subscribe ethernet fieldbus protocols


Thread Starter

Lynn Linse

>Fred Graham wrote:
>You might take a look at LonWorks technology from Echelon. The LonTalk
>protocol is such a publish/subscribe model and it is an open protocol

Please don't be fooled by such talk - LonWorks is only open in the sense that anyone willing to sign Echelon's fairly restrictive license agreement is "open" to buy and/or pay Echelon per-unit royalties. LonWorks/LonTalk is heavily patent protected and the fact that EIA was willing to accept it as a "standard" (whereas IEEE, ISO, IEC, ANSI, etc haven't) doesn't make it
any more open. In fact knowing EIA, I'd first guess EIA-709 is just the electrical specs for creating physical media chips & little else.

Here is Echelon's *OWN VERBAGE* defining now much control they have relinquished considering EIA-709:

> ANSI/EIA 709.1-A-1999 (October 1999) is protected by
> Echelon Patents. Echelon hereby reserves all rights
> in and to Echelon Patents and no license is granted
> under Echelon Patents in this Software License Agreement.
> Echelon generally licenses Echelon Patents for ANSI/EIA
> 709.1-A-1999 (October 1999) for product development and
> commercialization pursuant to the terms of Echelon's
> standard Protocol Patent License Agreement. A copy of
> Echelon's standard Protocol Patent License Agreement
> can be obtained from Echelon's web site
> http://www.echelon.com/protocol/protocolpat.pdf.

The Echelon Protocol Patent License Agreement includes such wonderful clauses as forbidding signee's from saying anything bad about Echelon or
LonWorks (obviously I'm not a Signee), restricting which types of products can be sold to whom, and requiring implementors to notify Echelon of unit sales numbers & buy "MAC"-type ids from Echelon.

I don't begrudge Echelon from making a living off LonWorks. It has many wonderful features & a solid place in technology sales. However, lets
please stick to calling "Apples" apples & not fall for the "since it has an EIA number it must be open" fallacy.

Best Regards

Lynn August Linse, [email protected] http://www.linse.org/lynn
3 Rue Monet, Foothill Ranch CA 92610
Ph: 949-300-6337 Fx: 612-677-3253

Curt Wuollet

Hear!, Hear!

Thanks Lynn,

You don't really notice how open these things are just buying and using them. To really face the alligators you've got to do feasibility on a hardware design with a proto stack. It has line items like a $10,000.00 membership in a cartel and royalties and single sourced silicon. Not to mention it's wise to retain expert legal counsel and risk insurance and, and...........