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Proceedings Paper

Use of open source distribution for a machine tool controller
Author(s): William P. Shackleford; Frederick M. Proctor
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Paper Abstract

In recent years a growing number of government and university las, non-profit organizations and even a few for- profit corporations have found that making their source code public is good for both developers and users. In machine tool control, a growing number of users are demanding that the controllers they buy be `open architecture,' which would allow third parties and end-users at least limited ability to modify, extend or replace the components of that controller. This paper examines the advantages and dangers of going one step further, and providing `open source' controllers by relating the experiences of users and developers of the Enhanced Machine Controller. We also examine some implications for the development of standards for open-architecture but closed-source controllers. Some of the questions we hope to answer include: How can the quality be maintained after the source code has been modified? Can the code be trusted to run on expensive machines and parts, or when the safety of the operator is an issue? Can `open- architecture' but closed-source controllers ever achieve the level of flexibility or extensibility that open-source controllers can?

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 February 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4191, Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing, (2 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417244
Show Author Affiliations
William P. Shackleford, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Frederick M. Proctor, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4191:
Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing
Peter E. Orban; George K. Knopf, Editor(s)

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