Still learning the system so bear with me a bit:
……… and realized ALL stations within a program must run at the same duration. This is a primary feature of most other ……..
Likely the runtime duration constraint is a legacy from mechanical timing. I had a career employee in a very good sprinkler company tell me that the rain sensor worked by interrupting the neutral wire on the valve circuit. We were talking about microprocessor control at the time. So a lot of these companies are still in 1970. They are not in a business that has been forced to change to the same extent of many industries.
It makes sense that Ray first made the core functionality consistent with the way systems are traditionally operated. It also makes sense to rethink what works best, while still maintaining a well controlled and consistent system.
From a system design perspective it debatable what functionality belongs in the firmware, and what logic should be in a separate processes: Such as a web server, “the cloud”, or a home automation system. While variable timings belongs in the firmware, many advanced functions perhaps belong on something like the Raspberry Pi web server.