Steeplechase thread drift (from EMC)


Thread Starter


In a message dated 00-11-06 12:00:16 EST, [email protected] writes:

> What would be real interesting would be if Steeplechase would port
> to RTLinux/Linux. I've mentioned it to them, they are real MS droids
> they basically told me to fsck off.

It may be a licensing issue as well. Back a few years when I was evaluating it, it appeared that the three basic pieces were licensed goods:

1) The RTOS (RMX (16-BIT), InTime (32-bit) came from Radisys
2) "Flowchart Programming" license from (I don't recall, but it's patented)
3) The MMI (FIX) came from Intellution

The names of the owners may have changed (been bought) since then.

How much of this technology they now own outright, I couldn't say.

Much of their value added is in drivers for all the I/O and packaging and support. They brought the pieces together.

Some Of my experiences (as memory serves):

When I had issues with the MMI, some things were Out Of Their Hands.

When I thought a non-realtime flowchart processor (or compiler) might be nice (to create a general purpose flowchart programming system for non-programmers) I don't think they were allowed to do that, even if they wanted to.

When I wanted a scaled down runtime without MMI, this was not possible. (It is now)

Things have changed since and they (Steeplechase) were worth a look back then and I think they still are (for certain applications).

MS droids? Maybe.

Maybe MS tells them: No, you won't.

Maybe they just don't want to rewrite all their stuff. The number of actual core software developers was rather low, IIRC.


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I know a lot about Steeplechase. I have worked with their developers (At their company in Michigan) in writing a driver application for our
company. They are very good and top notch.

They own everything except for the RTOS (Radysis) and Citect HMI (they are heavily in bed with Citect) They actually support Citect as their own product, so it is pretty good. Steeplechase is basically doing a similar thing with their stuff as LPLC is doing. The Flow (or ladder) is compiled and run as a task in the RTOS. Ulike LPLC, however, their is a hard fixed scan cycle (Which I believe should be LPLC default ..) They DO add a lot of value, besides driver interface.
There is a very nicely integrated monitor/debug software that actually works well, in addition to a very nicely implemented flow chart compiler. They are only open to Flow (main drive) and support ladder for old timers and total non techies.

I have talked to them about Linux and basically the deal is that they are invested in win32 implementation (Their quite integrated flow
editor, monitor software, debug, Citect,etc, etc ) Also, they would have to port the Intime system calls (And potentially structure
changes) to whatever Linux RTOS they would use. All in all I know these guys could do it, but I think it is a Marketing/Engineering resource issue. Lets face it, we live in a world where Idiots are installing more and more NT/2000 servers for high reliability internet and file serving applications. Some idiot wants Microsoft
because it is compatable with some proprietary software that they can't live without (Or their developers are ignorant to other things) So basically this is the Steeplechase philospohy about NT/2000 (As I come to understand it) .... It's a market driven stance.

As I have stated many times, I love steeplechase, I HATE Windoze


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