Python in Process Control?

Cameron Laird claird at
Mon Oct 4 04:08:04 CEST 2004

In article <opmdnfljLrvGPf3cRVn-qQ at>,
Peter L Hansen  <peter at> wrote:
>Andrea Griffini wrote:
>> The only thing that scares me a bit about using python
>> is that industrial control is (at least for the part
>> I'm seeing for my job) terribly closed-source.
>> I see for example that its very very common to use
>> even hardware locks for the software.
>That's true, and sadly so.  It's also one of the things
>which Cameron and I and others are keen to see change,
>and which change we believe would have a significant
>and positive impact on the industry in a variety of ways.
>Having companies always rewrite their own copy of something
>from scratch is a stupid, stupid way to do business, when
>their business is not supposed to be writing drivers for
>obscure pieces of hardware.
>Having those companies wake up and smell the coffee --
>which in this case is their competition, companies like
>mine, which are accelerating many times over their
>productivity by using modern tools and techniques
>and by *sharing* non-core stuff -- is one of the goals
>we've been talking about here.
		[more of the same]
Peter does a fine job of speaking for both of us.  On the 
off chance that my words will be meaningful to a few readers 
his haven't already reached, I'll say this for myself:

I recognize that our approach is surprising and even alarming
to many in process control.  I'm cranky enough to think that
history's on my side, in this case:  eventually it'll be ac-
ceptable for process control vendors and customers to act
rationally (in a technical sense I claim I can make explicit),
rather than in their anachronistically territorial current
habits.  Rather than worry much about how to get there, I'm
just going to act as though high productivity and high
reliability are as important to others as they are to me.  I
leave it to others to figure out what laws and licenses will
make sense of all this.

Wake up enough, and you can smell the roses, too.

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