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December 22, 2006 / Steven Pousty

Let me get in on the SP action

Alright I am really steamed about this latest Service Pack fiasco. Why am I being so extreme and calling it a fiasco? Well sit right down and I will tell ya a story.

We use AirPhoto USA for some of our aerial photographs and they have a proprietary format for thier images, like MrSID or ECW. They also make a plugin for ArcGIS so you can look at the images directly in ArcMAP. Well wouldn’t you know there is a bug in 9.2 that prevents the plugin from working (silly us for thinking it might be AirPhoto USA’s fault). ESRI claims the bug will be fixed in SP1. Therefore I can not use 9.2 until SP1 comes out.

Now when this page was posted, oooh say about a week and a half ago, I figured I could plan on getting work done during the lull between Christmas (a non-event for me) and New Years. I arranged my schedule so I could work on some projects that would really benefit from 9.2 during that time. It is at this point in the tale when you say to yourself – WTF was he thinking making work plans based upon a date published by ESRI. And you know in hindsight you are correct but I, being the eternal optomist, wanted to believe, I really did.

And now you know why I am so upset. I mean how hard would it have been to update the page with the list of things fixed like the pages said it would. DO you think they woke up this morning and realized they weren’t going to make their SP date? If not then why not update the page as soon as you realize you are missing the target?

C’mon treat me with more respect than that. If you know you are going to be late for an appt then call ahead and let the people know. Why should I really even think it will be out next week. I say I should say sometime next quarter to be on teh safe side. Didn’t ESRI at one point promise quarterly service packs?

And to top it all of, as of this post they still haven’t updated the original SP announcement page. So I have to find out second hand through a blog post.

[UPDATE: The page has now been officially updated and I can see why it might have taken longer than expected. And you know missing the date could be fine, but my main complaint is that as soon as you know it is going to be late then let people know.]

train wreck



Leave a Comment
  1. Cameron Rex / Dec 22 2006 2:45 pm

    I definitely agree with you. To wait until the last possible minute to give any kind of update (as they have now updated the SP1 Announcement page) is not acceptable.

    I could understand if it was an Open Source project where the developers aren’t paid and the customers/users don’t pay. But when you have customers paying $1000s for maintenance it should be expected that reasonable updates are given (especially when you post a date and find you are not able to meet that date.)

  2. no thanks / Dec 22 2006 3:10 pm

    The Blog Mob
    “Written by fools to be read by imbeciles.”

  3. thesteve0 / Dec 22 2006 3:27 pm

    No thanks:
    You shouldn’t post from work when you say mean things – people might find out which company you work for.
    You also are not required to read my blog and the fact that you did and commented I guess makes YOU an imbecile.

    I am not a journalist, which is fairly evident, I am just a GIS user who talks about things that matter to me. You don’t like what I have to say? Then go read another blog. I write because I like it and not for you.

  4. Sean Gillies / Dec 22 2006 3:53 pm

    Rant on, Steve! I saw that WSJ editorial the other day. Somebody call the Waaaaambulance for Rago, and maybe for “no thanks” too.

  5. Dave / Dec 22 2006 3:58 pm

    @No Thanks:

    Do you have a point, or just have some high-horse you like to look down from? Are YOU a journalist? Are we the “remora fish” riding along on the bellies of your shark-like nationally syndicated column, “picking at the scraps”?

    Exactly what big ol story have you reported on that would make the ESRI Service Pack date slip a “scrap”? And more importantly, would I care?

    Ah, it’s create to be anonymous!

    Happy Holidays!


  6. BenSlater / Dec 23 2006 7:19 pm

    Teehee. When we bought imagery from AirPhotoUSA, we insisted that they send it to us in GeoTIFF format instead of their proprietary format, specifically in case something like that happened in the future. Lessons learned, eh?

  7. thesteve0 / Dec 23 2006 9:52 pm

    Sean and Dave:
    Thanks for chiming in!

    Ben: Yeah those images were purchased before I started. I have to say I have not been too happy with AirPhoto. We told them about this error with the release candidate for 9.2 and I don’t think they looked into it until after 9.2 came out. So I also blame them for waiting. If they had reported this earlier I am sure ESRI would have fixed it before hand. ESRI was good about fixing stopper bugs like this.
    From now on GeoTIFFs it is….

  8. davidvogt / Feb 3 2007 3:17 pm

    Your article is very informative and helped me further.

    Thanks, David

  9. Jason / May 21 2007 11:39 am

    Now with the second service pack for 9.2 we are not able to see .Map files from AirPhotoUSA again. No word yet on a fix.

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