More on Commercial Software in ESRI’s ArcScripts

As with most blogging tools have spam catching built into them to stop comment spam and this one is no exception. I try and look though the “junk comments” every once and a while just to make sure that nothing got labeled as junk by mistake. Well last night I found one by Ianko who makes the very popular ET GeoWizards tools for ArcGIS. I’m not sure why his IP is labeled SPAM, but SpamLookup thinks it is. Anyway, here is his comment on my post Stop Putting Commercial Software in ESRI ArcScripts

James,

Since you mention ET GeoWizards I think that I have to post a comment on this.

It is true that ET GeoWizards is a commercial product (I would rather qualify it as semi-commercial), but I think that it has got more free functionality than 50% of the rest of the submissions to ArcScripts that deal with data processing put together. You can check this here if you want: http://www.ian-ko.com/ET_GeoWizards/gw_NoRestrictions.htm

Do you think that it will be better if the ArcGIS users do not know about those free functions that they need in their everyday work?

What about questions on ESRI forums like: “How do I remove the excess vertices from my polylines” and answers like “Get an ArcEditor license and use Generalize!” when the users can just use the free function of ET GeoWizards and their ArcView license.

What do you think the ArcGIS users will gain if ET GeoWizards is removed from the ArcScripts site?

If you give me valid reasons, I’ll remove the ET GeoWizards entry from ArcScripts.

Cheers

Ianko

I will agree that ET Geowizards is a great tool that helps users accomplish tasks that ArcView normally can’t do on its own, but as you say it is a commercial product. I guess one persons demo is another persons “semi-commercial”. I will give you that Ianko’s product isn’t as bad as most commercial scripts in ArcScripts, but the fact that there is registration required to get all the functionality of ET Geowizards shows me that is is a demo for their full product (without a timeout period) and as the upload screen for ArcScripts plainly says:

I would say that if the ArcScripts version of ET Geowizards only had the free tools and had an “ad” only in the about screen, it would be fine for ArcScripts, but in its current form it is a demo and in turn using ESRI’s bandwidth to sell your product. Because you sell ET Geowizards, it shouldn’t be in ArcScripts.

The big problem with these smaller GIS developer companies is that they have no easy way for their product to get noticed by the masses of GIS professionals. ESRI should create a section where these companies can upload their tools. There is a huge difference between XTools and XTools Pro. The spirit of ArcScripts has been violated by commercial software and many GIS pros have told me that they don’t upload their scripts and extensions to ArcScripts because it is such a mess with commercial software.