More reflections on Pinto's Point

July 19, 2005
One of the most unsatisfactory outcomes of the preoccupation of the automation vendors with low volume, high profit products is the need to control the product specifications. The most glaring example of this is the incredible (insert choice military aphorism for mess) we call the Fieldbus Standard. It took 15 years to develop, and is designed to unpromote, if I may coin a word, the very interoperability that it was originally intended to create. In the meantime, over that same 15 year period, ...
One of the most unsatisfactory outcomes of the preoccupation of the automation vendors with low volume, high profit products is the need to control the product specifications. The most glaring example of this is the incredible (insert choice military aphorism for mess) we call the Fieldbus Standard. It took 15 years to develop, and is designed to unpromote, if I may coin a word, the very interoperability that it was originally intended to create. In the meantime, over that same 15 year period, personal computers became ubiquitous, networks expanded, telephony blossomed and the cost of IT technologies plummeted. Why? IT space vendors realized quickly that there was more value in standards based interoperability and high volume high profit products. Even now, vendors (and you know who you are, yes you do) do their utmost to make sure that their systems only interoperate with their own products, or those of their handpicked partners. Pinto, Dick Morley and I, among others, have been pointing this out for so long that we all have shiny flat spots on our foreheads from whacking our heads against the wall. I wish they'd get it right. Walt

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