[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Whitebox GAT (Chris Puttick)

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Fri Mar 26 09:18:24 PDT 2010

On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 11:03 AM, Chris Puttick
<chris.puttick at thehumanjourney.net> wrote:
> Please understand I am in no way criticising your software, which sounds of interest although out of reach for me. I am also highly appreciative of the work you and others like you put into developing solutions which you then share with others and I do what I can to contribute too. I am just hoping to persuade you and others that .net has far more bad points than good and to consider using a different software development framework/tools in the future.
> I find it sensible to stare warily at gift-horses associated with companies whose primary stated purpose is the maximisation of shareholder value. Paid-for software of the "license to use" variety is a legacy concept fighting hard for survival; those companies whose entire business model is paid-for software are seeking all sorts of methods to ensure they can continue to profit from those business models.

You make that assertion based on what evidence? Any citations?
Slideshow presentations and keynote addresses at conferences don't

Surely the fact that a bunch of us open source aficionados have a
number of projects we work on and talk about does not an evidence make
that paid-for software is fighting hard for survival. Let me see... 26
million copies of Mac OS X, 45 million copies of iPhone OS... and that
is only single digit percentage of worldwide operating system share,
more than 90%+ of which is Windows -- a "legacy software fighting hard
for survival"? I think not.

Listen, I personally appreciate the zeal for open sourcing software
and data (most of my personal religion is based on the belief that
open data are better for everyone), but trash talking closed software
makes the whole world blind.

My personal belief is that the most powerful programming language in
the world is the one you know. The Whitehouse GAT developers happen to
be versed in .NET. Let us appreciate what they are doing, and learn
from it... as I said earlier, good ideas cross-pollinate, so it can
only be good for the entire software ecosystem.

> The majority of methods being adopted are, like .net, all about lock-in, about making it harder and more costly to move from the incumbent (and encumbered) solution. Hence why I would suggest the use of that particular framework (and there are so many to chose from that are as good or better, even before taking into account the cross-platform bonus feature) is a bad thing; its apparent convenience hides a massive cost base, both upfront and TCO.
> My job, as sad as it may be, is strategic. I have to think about the future of the organisation for which I work with two over-riding drivers for the decisions I make in my area of responsibility: make it better and make it cheaper. The former requires usability, flexibility, maximisation of choice, and functionality; the latter requires elimination of lock-in to ensure the lowest cost options can be considered. Both tend to mean open solutions are given a high weighting. I can't focus on the immediacy of convenience, as so many of my peers have; evidence has shown the end result is no more money is made/saved by the use of IT than is spent on the IT and all too often less.
> So that means absolutely no .net. Applications written against mono are more likely to be considered, although I personally believe that developing mono as a poor relation clone of .net is a mistake and a tragic waste of effort; innovation is required to disrupt, not poor copies. Almost all of the software we are deploying in the organisation, GIS or otherwise, is entirely platform neutral. Versions exist that can run on many operating systems and even different processor architectures. Software we are developing internally we endeavour to make as open as possible in the same spirit; for example gvSIG OADE is made available compiled for Mac OSX of which we have exactly 0/300 computers using.
> I guess it is a matter of perspective. I want to have the widest set of choices professionally and personally want the largest number of choices to be available for others. Those who sell software licences want choices to be limited to their platform, whether that be operating system or ERP tools. I'd like to have the choice to try your app, which has interesting user education opportunities, but it would remove the choice of desktop operating system. Ahh well.
> Chris
> --
> Chris Puttick
> Oxford Archaeology: Exploring the Human Journey
> Direct: +44 (0)1865 980 718
> Switchboard: +44 (0)1865 263 800
> Mobile: +44 (0)7908 997 146
> http://thehumanjourney.net
> ----- "John Lindsay" <jlindsay at uoguelph.ca> wrote:
>> Hi Chris,
>> Thank you for your feedback. I think, however, you might be staring a
>> gift horse in the mouth. I write software primarily because I need it
>> and am happy to share it with others. For me, open-source is about
>> sharing ideas, innovating, and improving education. I'm fortunate that
>> I don't need to rely on my programming to make money. Like most
>> computer users, I use Windows and .NET is the framework that we have.
>> It's an excellent framework, despite what some may think of the
>> company that developed it. I understand that many people chose other
>> operating systems (and good for them!) but I'm also aware that the
>> Mono framework allows for the possibility of running Whitebox GAT on
>> Linux/Mac. There are currently people working on porting Whitebox over
>> using Mono. I suspect, however, that there are some out there who
>> would still not be pleased with the use of Mono as a framework. The
>> fact of the matter is that not everybody will be happy all of the
>> time. If this isn't the solution that suits you, I'm sure there are
>> others that are more suited. And that's fine by me. It's just nice
>> that people out there are working hard every day to ensure that you
>> have choices, isn't it?
>> --
>> John Lindsay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
>> Dept. of Geography, Univ. of Guelph
>> Guelph, Ont. N1G 2W1   CANADA
>> Phone: (519) 824-4120 x56074
>> Fax: (519) 837-2940
>> Email:  jlindsay at uoguelph.ca
>> Department Web: www.uoguelph.ca/geography/
>> Personal Web:
>> http://www.uoguelph.ca/geography/people/faculty/lindsay.shtml
>> _______________________________________________
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Puneet Kishor http://www.punkish.org
Carbon Model http://carbonmodel.org
Charter Member, Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.osgeo.org
Science Commons Fellow, http://sciencecommons.org/about/whoweare/kishor
Nelson Institute, UW-Madison http://www.nelson.wisc.edu
Assertions are politics; backing up assertions with evidence is science

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