Open SayasMe Closed SayasYou
By: Jim Pinto

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!

A widget 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

Proprietary will be gone
To hordes of hungry hangers-on
An open door will throw away
Their value-core and make it gray

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

So, tell you what - let's all declare
An Open vendors club to share
Our deepest secrets together lumped
The horde of hungry hangers on they jumped

Now vendor S on the other side
Already owns a bus to ride
With a horde of hungry hangers-on in tow
Vendor S just wanted more
Since they owned the bus, they had most to win
They could simply say it was Open

But hold it now, 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!

The moral of this ditty is
To understand the fieldbus biz
You've gotta read between the line
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