Free and Closed. Why?

I was IMing with Paolo today and we were discussing his employer’s decision to migrate to open-source. The conversation took a few turns and we touched upon the concept of free closed-source software vice free open-source software. His employer had rejected a free CMS that was not open-source.

This got me into a philosophical frame of mind. I began wondering if, in this day and age, there is any reason to consciously choose to release a software product as a free, but closed-source product? I raised this question a while back with regard to ArcGIS Explorer but now I’m expanding the question. I would love to hear comments on this but I’d like to establish a few parameters:

  1. I’m not interested in delving into the open-source vs. commercial software debate.
  2. I’m not trying to criticize anyone who chooses to keep their source code closed. I’m genuinely curious about the decision process.
  3. I’m not referring to things like “nagware”, demo software with restricted functionality or free products that are really teasers for commercial products (which is what I consider Google Earth to be).
  4. Please keep it civil. We’re all grown-ups and/or professionals.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Derived Geometry Redux

A long time ago, on a blog-hosting site far far away, there was a blog called ArcDeveloper (not to be confused with ArcDeveloper.Net, which came later and did more). That was my first blog. It went in a few different directions. I wasn’t happy with it, so I killed it. There’s nothing to link to now.

Anyway, one of the posts I did on that blog had to do with creating derived geometry classes in .Net. The basic premise is simple: create a class that inherits from one of the ArcObjects geometry classes and then extend it to fit your needs. My application at the time had to do with writing an ArcGIS client for Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) feeds. Continue reading “Derived Geometry Redux”

Standalone IE6

Okay, this really has nothing to do with GIS but I wanted to get this info out there. I have a particular piece of software that I use regularly that involves connecting a device to my PC to exchange information. This software does not work with IE7 yet. Since automatic updates doesn’t really give you any choice in the matter (I love coming down in the morning and finding a new browser), this created a problem for me.

I found the following software that lets you install previous version of IE in standalone mode: I imagine it may have applicability for testing and such but it also solved my problem.

In For a Dime…

…in for a dollar.

I’ve been blogging about zigGIS a lot (more than I had planned to, really). So, today, I joined the project. If you go to the site, you’ll see “bill” listed as one of the project owners. That’s me.

I had a long IM session with Paolo today and there’s a lot to do. It’s an amazing project that has a lot of potential. Not just for PostGIS but other data sources as well. This is my first time joining an open-source project so that’ll be a learning experience for me as well. You can’t be a lurker forever…

zigGIS Update

Paolo has posted an update to zigGIS. This update deals more effectively with data layers that have an SRID associated (SRID != -1). They now seem to overlay well. On-the-fly reprojection is still not working but he is working on it. Archaeogeek recently posted about some issues getting zigGIS to work. Continue reading “zigGIS Update”