The Big Lie: SUE

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The Big Lie is a propaganda technique. It was defined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf as a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. [So begins the Wikipedia article Big Lie.]

The Big Lie has been widely practiced in politics ever since, but more widely practiced in “marketing.”

What sent me down this path? (Or should it be: “What set me off again?”) Bill Lydon in his report from the Rockwell Automation Fair said: “[Keith] Nosbusch, [Rockwell Automation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer] made a clear statement about industrial networking, ‘Open standard, unmodified Ethernet!’ This has become the mantra to distinguish EtherNet/IP™ from other protocols…”

The Big Lie? Standard Unmodified Ethernet (SUE) is not a differentiator for Ethernet/IP. All Industrial Ethernets that I know of use SUE. Of course, I’m most familiar with PROFINET and it is absolutely, unequivocally Standard Unmodified Ethernet! You can use an Ethernet sniffer and see Standard Unmodified Ethernet frames. I know I’ve ranted about this before (like in “Pegging the FUD meter” and “Standard Unmodified Ethernet”), but it is just one of those topics that gets up my nose.

This drivel from Rockwell and ODVA is not marketing. That’s why I put marketing in quotes in the second paragraph. For me, marketing is an accurate communication of technical benefits. With this post I fell off the positive wagon I tried to maintain all year. It’s time to make a resolution to be positive all next year. No need to wait – I’ll go immediately back to the positive now: for a humorous refutation of the drivel and a positive look at PROFINET, get our booklet, “PROFINET or the Story of Pretty Polly, Sweet SUE, and the White Knight.”

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