We have all been there. You are in the middle of some process using ArcGIS 10, trying to finish a project for a deadline, and one of two things happen: the hour glass starts to run and never stops, or your ArcGIS screen just disappears and you get the “oh no, something broke” window to report an error (which you never do).
Since ArcGIS 10’s debut back in June I’ve read and heard a number of opinions (many times unsolicited) about the latest release and subsequent service pack. As you can imagine some reviews are glowing, and some are not so great. When I do a quick Google search for “ArcGIS 10 Review” very few results appear that aren’t from Esri themselves.
Now when I do a Google search for “esri arcgis 10 stinks” or “esri arcgis 10 sucks” the results are much more, let’s say, robust. Three message boards really stuck out and can be found here, here, and here.
When reading though these message boards you must read them with a grain of salt. First of all, people will complain about anything and everything. Second, many complaints have nothing to do with the software itself, but with user error or machine problems.
I also believe that many users are intimidated by GIS software and when something goes wrong they may get the urge to post insane comments with poor grammar because they are frustrated with something that may be out of their control. I can understand where some of these people are coming from, but ArcGIS really isn’t a beginner’s software. I’ve been using Ersi’s software for over eight years and I learn something new all the time.
Yes, ArcGIS 10 has its share of problems. Yes, ArcGIS 10 probably isn’t the best piece of software for beginners or light users of GIS. I do believe if you are a high end user working with large datasets or you need to perform some serious GIS analysis ArcGIS is a strong tool that I would recommend.
It could be worse for Esri, they could be SQL Server, Oracle, or Visual Studio.
And for the record, I like ArcGIS 10, especially ArcGIS Server 10.
Well, that is my two cents. What has your experience with ArcGIS 10 been like? Did you have to revert back to 9.3.1? Do you post insane comments on GIS message boards when you are having a tough GIS day? If so let me know.