MO No Mo’

Okay, there’s nothing terribly surprising about ESRI’s announcement regarding MapObjects in this technical article. I would have been more surprised if they had announced that it would be supported or that there would be another version or something like that. In truth, I haven’t touched MapObjects in years. It was dead to me even if it was still on life support at ESRI. But there was something about seeing it in print:

MapObjects Windows 2.4 and MapObjects-Java 2.2 and 2.3 are not supported on the Windows Vista. ESRI is not certifying any new environments for MapObjects-Windows and there are no plans to support Vista with MapObjects-Java.

It brought back a lot of memories. I began programming when I was 10. I wrote a D&D character generator in BASIC on a Commodore 64. I guess that makes me an old geek. D&D and computers might even be a double-down. 😉  I’ve pretty much been doing some form of BASIC ever since (not so much VB.Net anymore, though, as I do most of my .Net in C#) along with a lot of other languages. I got interested in maps a few years later and discovered I could fuse maps and computers as I headed into the workforce.

Early on, I was able to do some MapBasic stuff but that didn’t get too far. So I suffered through AML and Avenue for a while in order to feed the GIS development jones. Then along came MO.

With MO, I was able to introduce an old friend (BASIC in the form of VB5 and later VB6) to a new friend (GIS, although it wasn’t new to me by then). I was able to write real apps that fused mapping with databases and other cool tools. For one customer, I built a COM system that featured a core UI and provided a pluggable architecture and an API so others could write plug-ins. Then we converted a lot of stand-alone apps to work in the system. Sounds familiar huh?

From a GIS standpoint, MO wasn’t the most powerful game in town but it was fun! And, if you needed an algorithm or something that MO didn’t support, you could just implement it yourself in the language of your choice. There are operations that I originally implemented in MO/VB6 that I have migrated and still use in C#/ArcObjects/Others. In case I didn’t get the point across earlier, it was just plain fun.

That was a while ago. GIS is still fun but I just don’t use MO anymore (maybe that’s the problem). ESRI’s announcement is sort of like when you read that the arena where you went to all of your concerts in your youth got dynamited to make room for a shopping plaza. So, much like I did that day, I’ll pop a cold one, raise a glass and say “Thanks for the memories.”

The better part of my hearing was left here.