Recently I’ve been working with PLC’s – which is so far from the computers I’m used to. As a GNU/Linux user I’m accustomed to having almost any tool available at the touch of my fingertips, and great amounts of knowledge in a instant.
But the PLC world? It’s a closed universe, with no protocol documentation (that I can find anyways), obscure parts that costs ten times more than I’d hope for them to. And all tools are in a walled garden – either you use Brand A, or Brand B. You don’t mix ’em. Once you’ve settled, and spent a couple of thousand dollars on programming software, you don’t change because the other is simpler.
And yet we’ve got standards for it: namely IEC 61131-3, which defines the languages. Yet, every make have their own peculiarities, and you can’t expect a project for Brand A to run on Brand B. At least not without rewriting large parts of it.
What a sad state of affairs, compared to the open world of GNU/Linux…