Python in Process Control?

Cameron Laird claird at
Fri Oct 1 03:08:04 CEST 2004

In article <du71xgjpsay.fsf at>,
Ville Vainio  <ville at> wrote:
>>>>>> "Wolfgang" == Wolfgang Keller <wolfgang.keller.nospam at> writes:
>    Wolfgang> ...does really noone use Python for industrial control
>    Wolfgang> applications?
>People are known to do this.
>    Wolfgang> At least I didn't manage to find any publicly available
>    Wolfgang> modules for such things as OPC/fieldbus communication
>    Wolfgang> etc...
>Such things don't necessarily float into open source. My adventures w/
>OPC involved both Python and C++ code - with my current knowledge of
>Python there would probably have been much less C++ code :-). OPC is
>just DCOM, which should work directly w/ Python+pywin32 extensions
>(used to be called win32all, which might help your googlings). Get
>Mark Hammond's book Python Programming on Win32:
>Alternatively, you could buy/find a C library that makes OPC simple
>(i.e. no need to deal w/ COM), and wrap it up in Python.
>And BTW, OPC sucks. Those industrial decision makers must have smoked
>lots of crack when they came up w/ the idea of using DCOM as the
>integrator-facing interface that is supposed to be easy and
Ville, I can point at far greater irrationalities in process control.

I like process control.  I've threatened on occasion to launch at least
a new mailing list, and maybe an online magazine, for "highly-productive
process control", or something similar that captures the difference be-
tween, say, Python and C++.  In any case, I certainly can echo the points
everyone in this thread has made:  that the programming is not really so
hard, just mind-bogglingly mis-documented; that there's a lot more going
on than is googl-able; and that Python, in particular, makes a fine 

The vendors are thick with defensive instincts about their intellectual
property.  Not only are their business models difficult ones, but *they*
understand them poorly.

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