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4:49 PM
Change over time. Long term usage and survival of tools. A topic much on my mind lately. There are long debates and complaints and gnashing of teeth on Geonet (one of many places) about some of the features of ArcMap/Catalog that aren't being re-implemented in ArcPro.
We, or at least some of us, have been here before. VBA/VB6 is gone (good riddance!) and with it some star tools, but more concerningly for me star people are subsiding into the background.
Before VB it was ArcView3 and ArcInfo. With that change too we lost valuable tools, data models, and again, people. People too disenchanted and demoralized to invent anew in the new language their old-but-still-damnably-useful tools. It's depressing.
This doesn't only happen in the commercial software world. It's not only Esri who ups and leaves a paradigm.
How to insulate ourselves from the damages of change, while still being present enough to take advantage of it?
Anyway, I have work to do. More methods and processes to build that won't be portable to new-hotness. Before I leave you to your reflections, here's a couple of examples:
ArcGIS DEM Tools by Jeff Jenness. Voted 1st place for Best Desktop Application in 2010 and 2nd place in 2009. Last release 2013. It's written in VB. If you click around some you'll find Jenness tools for ArcView3 also.
 
5:31 PM
Hawth's Tools by Hawthorne Beyer, reborn into Geospatial Modelling Environment
Hawth positioned himself to move to an open source platform instead of Esri in a bid to escape the change-bind. (My supposition. Hawth didn't actually say that.) This effort appears to have stalled unfortunately. Too much for a sole-source author to do without a sponsor.
our own @whuber felt the pain and recognized the pattern circa arc v9 and changed to dispensing advice instead of tools.
There's a comment he left somewhere about being able to run 20 year old R* scripts unchanged on new machines with current R. Something you can't do with most or perhaps any other platform. (* It may not have been R.)
 
 
2 hours later…
7:44 PM
@mattwilkie Who are "star" people and star tools?
 

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