Copyright © Romilly Bowden 2000.
According to an unofficial count, the December vote on the IEC 61158 fieldbus standard has gone the way of the entrenched vendors. Sadly, most National Committees voted to accept the latest "multi-standard standard" proposal, which leaves users little better off than the existing situation, with many competing commercial products to choose from. While there are undoubtedly application (and geographical) areas where such a choice is appropriate, the hopes of the user community for a single standard, covering a wide range of applications, seem to have been dashed.
Details of this result, and other comment, is on the ISA InTech Online website, at http://web.archive.org/web/20001002024300/http://www.isa.org/journals/intech/news/1,1771,805,00.html (WayBack Machine Archive).
Surely, this is not what international standards procedures are for.
Perhaps the best we can do now is to notice that one of the options, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, contains much of the best of the many years of work put into the IEC 61158 project.