Questions

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Thread Starter

Curt Wuollet

In this period of deathly silence, I thought I would take the opportunity to ask a few questions of the hundreds of lurkers on the list. The project is kinda slow and I know many of you would like to see something happening. I am working on some more exposure and it's kinda embarrasing that the posts are down to a trickle. Answers would be appreciated, can be on or off list. Those of you who have been around a while know that I take this feedback seriously. 1. Project is worth persuing Y/N. 2. What are the barriers to participation? 3. How many intend to contribute? 4. How can we facilitate that? 5. Are the principles / social goals inportant? 6. What would you like to see? 7 How can we get this thing moving? Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
Hi Curt, > 1. Project is worth persuing Y/N. Yes, absolutely. > 2. What are the barriers to participation? In my case, there are three barriers: time, time, and time. I would guess that's true for many people -- they have a genuine interest in the LinuxPLC, but feel constrained by their available time to contribute. I would also guess that there are any number of folks who are interested in using a LinuxPLC who don't have (or don't have confidence in) C coding skills. Finally, it may be that participation is hindered by nasty employment agreements about "everything you do is owned by The Company." > 3. How many intend to contribute? I hope to contribute, at least a little bit. > 4. How can we facilitate that? Figure out a way for me to magically have more Free Time. :^) > 5. Are the principles / social goals inportant? Yes, very. > 6. What would you like to see? Not having to buy proprietary hardware and software to do controls work. > 7. How can we get this thing moving? Good question. I think having to access the code via CVS is a barrier. Having a "Download" link on the linuxplc.org homepage to a packaged release would ease participation, giving an easier entry for people who aren't familiar with CVS. Getting into a cycle of released baselines would help. Thanks, Zach Frey _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Marco Silvestri

Hi to all well, I'm a lurker because I am a Linux user and work with Siemens S7, so I'm interested both in linux and PLC. In order to participate, first of all I need more information (does exist a FAQ?): What are the next goals of the project? What has been done until today? Are there some docs? How can I have a "resume" of the situation? The very main difficult for me is tha in the list you're talking about one or another detail, but I can't have a complete image. Hope this can help. Many thanks, Marco P.S.: I can write code in C, and also give info about S7. :eek:) _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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David Nimmons

1. Project is worth pursuing Y/N. Definitely. Don't give up. 2. What are the barriers to participation? Time and skills. 3. How many intend to contribute? I am contributing quietly. Am working on a web based HMI that is progressing well. Should have something to post soon. The final step on this project will involve some C programming. After I am done, maybe I will have enough confidence to help out with the linuxplc project. 4. How can we facilitate that? Would it be possible to have my HMI work accessible through the linuxplc site when it is ready? 5. Are the principles / social goals important? Absolutely! 6. What would you like to see? Expand out to include encompass all things in control, ie; process control, machine control, HMI, etc. 7 How can we get this thing moving? Get College engineering departments/graduate students involved. Join forces with other efforts out their. Get the word out there. ( You already mentioned that one) _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Curt Wuollet

Hi Zach. <clip>Zach wrote: > > 2. What are the barriers to participation? > > In my case, there are three barriers: time, time, and time. > I would guess that's true for many people -- they have a > genuine interest in the LinuxPLC, but feel constrained by > their available time to contribute. > > I would also guess that there are any number of folks who > are interested in using a LinuxPLC who don't have (or don't > have confidence in) C coding skills. > > Finally, it may be that participation is hindered by > nasty employment agreements about "everything you do > is owned by The Company." Maybe a thoughtfully worded "open letter" to employers explaining why participation in the project is good for all and politely asking for some wiggle room might help. Even if it doesn't it would be good PR and a non confrontational way for people to approach their management. I would be happy to answer questions or take the heat.off of volunteers. I can handle this if no one else volunteers. <clip> > > 7. How can we get this thing moving? > > Good question. I think having to access the code via CVS > is a barrier. I agree. although this is common for Linux and UNIX IS shops, It is a pain if you don't know it. We need a volunteer with a reliable connection to make a tarball occasionally. > Having a "Download" link on the linuxplc.org > homepage to a packaged release would ease participation, giving > an easier entry for people who aren't familiar with CVS. > Getting into a cycle of released baselines would help. Having a packaged release would be a good thing :) We'll get there. Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected]uxplc.org http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Curt Wuollet

Hi David David Nimmons wrote: <clip> > Would it be possible to have my HMI work accessible through the linuxplc > site when it is ready? If it is GPL'd. <clip> > 6. What would you like to see? > Expand out to include encompass all things in control, ie; process control, > machine control, HMI, etc. As soon as we have the bodies :) Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Hello everyone, Now here's a good idea: >> Maybe a thoughtfully worded "open letter" to employers >> explaining why participation in the project is good for all >> and politely asking for some wiggle room might help. >> Even if it doesn't it would be good PR and a non confrontational >> way for people to approach their management. I would be happy >> to answer questions or take the heat.off of volunteers. I can >> handle this if no one else volunteers. I'd like to help you do that -- I'll pass it by some senior corporate people for their insight; we'll get input from the list and Curt's approval. Then I'll help you put out a press release to 30+ industry magazines: "LinuxPLC newsgroup submits open letter to CEO's about the benefits of participating in open source software development..." How does that sound? Perry Sink Marketing Manager Synergetic Perry Sink | Synergetic Micro Systems [email protected] | www.synergetic.com +1/ 630.434.1770 | 630.434.1987 fax _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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simon martin

Hi Curt, I'm still lurking. With respect your queries (answers in line): <snip> > 1. Project is worth persuing Y/N. Yes > 2. What are the barriers to participation? > I've been working 14 hour days for the past 6 months and it looks like I'll be doing that for the next 6 months as well. > 3. How many intend to contribute? I want to (see point 2) > 4. How can we facilitate that? Do some of my work for me :-; > 5. Are the principles / social goals inportant? Very > 6. What would you like to see? > It all looks quite solid to me at the moment, except for the lack of developers > 7 How can we get this thing moving? > Interest people with a development background and reasonable work load __ _ Debian GNU User / /(_)_ __ _ ___ __ Simon Martin / / | | '_ \| | | \ \/ / Project Manager / /__| | | | | |_| |> < Isys \____/_|_| |_|\__,_/_/\_\ mailto: [email protected] PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the heck out of an electronic device to get it to work again. _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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We have a volunteer! I don't know about the press release, I'll have to think about that.. Linux usually creeps into organizations from the bottom up. Publicity may let people solidify a policy rather than deal with a request from a valued employee. I think the latter may be more successful. Perry, you're working to get on the same "sh*t lists" I'm on. congratulations. Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Johan Bengtsson

1. Yes 2. As everybody else says, time, time and time, I hope there is a fair chance of change (since I now actually can make the plans I would have needed the last 7 months) Another problem for me is that I am relatively new to linux (and then I have had it at home for a year or so), but I know that there is an awful lot of things I don't know 3. I am interested, time will still be a limited resource 4. Well... I can perhaps manage that myself now... http://w1.451.telia.com/~u45102278/QSplan.htm 5. I think so 6. I am not sure I understand what you are asking about 7. Well, you see, if there is enough snow on a hill, and the weather conditions are right - then it is just a matter of putting enough snow in one place and - there is the avalanche So it is just to go on... some day if enough people keep going. Look at linux itself, it has just begun to really move... ---------------------------------------- P&L, Innovation in training Box 252, S-281 23 H{ssleholm SWEDEN Tel: +46 451 49 460, Fax: +46 451 89 833 E-mail: [email protected] Internet: http://www.pol.se/ ---------------------------------------- _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Curt: 1 The project is definitely worth pursuing. 2 Not 100% sure as to how "I" can help. 3 I would like to. 4 Probable need to figure out how I can help. 5 ? You will have to expand on this statement. 6 Typically one or more people have to drive the project. My background: I design, build, program controls for test & production equipment. Currently only for in house use at the company I work for. My "C" programming experience has been at the control level "no operating system" or under "dos". I'm relatively new to Linux and am learning. The last project completed at work used "dos" and "qb4.5". Don't ask, this was dictated by people higher up that have no idea of controls. Modbus (asc & rtu) and USS (siemens inverters) protocols were used in this particular application. Written in QB 4.5 on an embedded biscuit type pc. Languages I've used - about 6 versions of basic, c, asm, MMI packages WonderWare, Genie PLCs omron 200 series, ab Slick series, modicon 311 & 984 series SBCs ZWorld, Sixnet etc. a host of various other ascii based devices experienced in writing drivers for numerous devices and protocols (not under Linux though) I do have access to a host of devices - serial based High Limit Controllers, Inverters, PLCs, computers etc. If you have any ideas let me know. If equipment or ? is needed I may be able to get the company I work for involved in some manner. jeff _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
My answers may be dated as I haven't gone to the home page recently, but I felt I had to answer to add credence that there is life "out here" > 1. Project is worth persuing Y/N. Yes. I think most of us feel that if it weren't worth persuing it would also not be worth following :) > 2. What are the barriers to participation? Problems in contribution: Time. Possible Conflicts of Interest. Learning curve of people new to the development model. Problems in project: Trying to be all things to all people. Lack of an implementation roadmap. > 3. How many intend to contribute? I hope most people involved in such an endeavor intend to contribute when they see an opening they can fill. Any one who expects to "get something out of it" should "put something into it". > 4. How can we facilitate that? See question 6 > 5. Are the principles / social goals inportant? I think so. I'm tired of getting locked into a technology or being forced to make changes in my equipment just because the old stuff is no longer available. Nor do I want to pay $5000 for $100 worth of additional functionality. > 6. What would you like to see? Create a wish list of critical pieces that are holding back a proof of concept implementation in a virtual environment. A newsgroup so different conversation threads can be stored and reviewed so we needn't rehash decisions. > 7 How can we get this thing moving? This list of questions should help. _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Hi all My thoughts so far. Curt Wuollet wrote: > > In this period of deathly silence, I thought I would take the > opportunity > to ask a few questions of the hundreds of lurkers on the list. The > project > is kinda slow and I know many of you would like to see something > happening. > I am working on some more exposure and it's kinda embarrasing that the > posts are down to a trickle. Answers would be appreciated, can be on or > off list. Those of you who have been around a while know that I take > this > feedback seriously. > > 1. Project is worth persuing Y/N. Yes the project is worth persuing. Only about a dozen people responded which isn't a very large activist contingent. > > 2. What are the barriers to participation? Most people, myself included, are suffering from the lack of time. Just think what we could get done with a company sponsoring one FTE or 10 companies each sponsoring .1 FTE or ? Think about it, even just one full time programmer or equivalent would be a lot of push. Split up between say, 10 sponsoring companies, this would be enormous return on investment. I know there are places that mate up companies wanting OSS with developers, I wonder if there is the inverse? WANTED: Ten companies to make a small investment that will make a bigger impact on the industry that anything else they can do. Will return a new market for goods and services far beyond investment. Risky, but the minimum return will be a free alternative automation platform with intangibles like goodwill and excellent PR. Must forgo direct commercialism and play by OSS rules. > 3. How many intend to contribute? I assume about that same dozen, but I'd love to be proven wrong. > 4. How can we facilitate that? This is the tough one, with only a little time to spare, I can't even directly contribute. We have to find some way to make it easier. I could use some more suggestions. > 5. Are the principles / social goals inportant? This puzzled quite a few people. To me it means: Free, Truly Open, GPL'd and publicly owned. Lesser goals are that it be done the Linux way and be as accessable as possible so that we open participation to as many as we can. It must also be legally unencumbered and vendor neutral. There are quite a few other ideals I feel strongly about, but that's a start. > 6. What would you like to see? Broader base of participation. > > 7 How can we get this thing moving? More people with more burning desire to see it happen. Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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Curt: Since your original posting I have checked with the VP of Engineering in my company about this project. He did express interest in the project and had numerous questions. I simply let him read the Puffin PLC intro and specs. One of his first questions was, what is in it for us. My reply - short term "nothing". Long term a control platform that does not cost an arm and a leg for each installation. I also mentioned he may want to consider the PR that could be "had" by association with this type of project. He has since said he has an interest and to keep him up to date. jeff
 
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Hi Jeff Great! You might also casually mention that being involved in Linux projects has been a powerful recruiting tool. We have been able to hire people that we probably couldn't have because they want to work with Linux or don't want to work with Microsoft. These "zealots" have been excellent engineers and highly comitted. Check out the ROI there, we get rid of a whole bunch of problems and attract people who would ignore us for free. It may sound like a small thing but, having the best people is life or death for a small company. Regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
Dear friends I see a little bit of desperation in your words. Please dont think ever to slow down, much people is waiting your success (and some ...) Unfortunatelly I can not help much, I could talk with my boss. How much is the minimum help in US$ needed? Regards German Lopez Production Testing Services _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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We need time from skilled programmers. Money would require some sort of contract house as a go between as there is no LinuxPLC company or corporation and there won't be. There are firms that handle this sort of thing. While this could be done, what I am really trying to do is put in business terms what a publicly owned and free and open project can return to the community. The project exists now built on gifts to the community by some very talented people (and one old hacker). These gifts are of the most generous nature because it was personal time given. This is at even more of a premium than the time we all spend making a living. The people I work days for have been really good about letting me chase mail and buy some equipment to help make this work. We have vendors that have loaned us stuff to make it work on trust. We have come far, albeit slowly, with a small circle of contributors. This is proof of concept for all the world to see. Without going beyond the folks on the list we could easily increase the effort by an order, maybe two orders of magnitude if everyone were capable of giving what our coders have done. Of course, we aren't all CS types and at this stage that's what we need. We have others who are contributing by writing articles and putting our concept out into the world. We will need different skills at different times and there are many other types of gift capital that can be brought to bear later on. The curve is exponential in that the number of folks that can contribute will multiply if we can get there from here. I know there are people on the list that can do the tasks we need now, or know or employ somebody who can. This is their time. With a push on the core project we can get to the time where the many others can contribute their skills and specialties. There is no note of desperation, There is some frustration at my poor ability at communication, making it real to others who can help and providing motivation to do so. What I can see so clearly I need to express in the right terms to the right people. I seek to get people thinking about what the project can do for them. The benefits are easy to see and it solves so many of the problems with the status quo that, if I can just get people to focus and imagine long enough to make the comparison, our ranks will swell. We can do this! And once we do it will seem so obvious people will wonder why nobody did it sooner. regards cww _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
Curt Wuollet wrote: > We need time from skilled programmers. Money would require some > sort of contract house as a go between as there is no LinuxPLC > company or corporation and there won't be. There are firms that > handle this sort of thing. While this could be done, what I am > really trying to do is put in business terms what a publicly > owned and free and open project can return to the community. > The project exists now built on gifts to the community by some > very talented people (and one old hacker). These gifts are of > the most generous nature because it was personal time given. It's possible that a non-profit organization, though (like the Free Software Foundation or GNOME Foundation) might be useful to handle copyright and contract issues. Also, it might be possible to use an organization such as SourceXChange as the "contract house go between" in order to coordinate programmer effort and corporate resources ($$$). Just brainstorming a bit ... Zach _______________________________________________ LinuxPLC mailing list [email protected] http://linuxplc.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxplc
 
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