Open SaysaMe, Closed SaysaYou!

By : Jim Pinto,
San Diego, CA.

This poem was NOT meant to demean any company or organization. It simply represents my own, personal view of the paradoxical situation that currently exists in the Industrial Automation business.

The fieldbus wars are at their peak
All are agreed 'tis what we seek

    The basic cause of all the fuss
    The Users want an Open bus
    They push and threaten, beg and plead
    "Interoperable" is what they need
    The widgets made by Vendor A
    With Vendor B must plug and play

The Vendors swear they all agree
But just can't bear to make it free
An open door will throw away
Their value-core and make it gray
Proprietary will be gone
To hordes of hungry hangers-on

    So the marketing guys they scheme and plot
    To make it Open, but really not
    To make the User think it works
    While hidden deep their secret lurks

I'll tell you what, says Vendor A
Let's all agree on how we play
Lets make it Open at the top
Closed in the middle for secret slop
And Open at the bottom too
For hungry hangers-on to chew
And everyone can now connect
To Open bus, while we collect
Proprietary margins in the mid
A brilliant marketing coup we did!

    So Vendor A then did declare
    An Open Vendors Club to share
    Their deepest secrets together lumped
    The horde of hungry hangers on they jumped

But then to add to this strange mess
From the other side comes Vendor S
With their horde of hungry hangers-on in tow
They have their own P-bus to show
Since they owned the bus, they had most to win
They could simply say it was "Open!"

    The moral of this ditty is
    To understand the fieldbus biz
    You've gotta read between the lines
    That Open and Closed are just designs
    That Users all for Open plead
    When Inter-op is what they need

Defacto standards win all debates
Ask Microsoft and Mr. Gates

Another poem : The Fieldbus Quadrille Read The Fieldbus Quadrille, the dance of the "open" networks.

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Copyright 2000 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA