An interesting email thread is ongoing about Top ten myths which try to harm the reputation of Open Source GIS efforts. Michael P. Gerlek edits a Wiki page collecting the top ~10 myths and misperceptions:
Especially striking the Eduardo Kanegae‘s comment:
In 2008 I worked on a project all based on ESRI 9.2 family. At that
point I didnÂ´t know much of ESRI products and had only worked with
foss products. Now I feel more confortable to give an opinion for
# myth monopoly : every only remember the (supposed) 30% esri market
share. Remember thereÂ´s also very nice commercial products like Safe
FME, CadCorp, ManiFold, PCI, ERDAS, ENVI and others ( and sometimes
most of these are embed on ESRI packs - eg.: raster support on AG
# sustainability : while every major release of ESRI will force you to
re-develop your customizations, FOSS products keep release more
compatible. Example: a MapServer 3.x developer will use the same
principles and concepts on MapServer 5.x version. But, an ArcIMS
developer had to change its base when upgrading to ArcGIS Server 9.1,
recode for adapting to ArcGIS Server 9.2 APIÂ´s and now all this
concepts will change again with 9.3 version.
# maintenance : foss product will run more closer to open standards (
eg.: OGCÂ´s ). So, you change foss parts without re-coding your entire
solution. The cost of training a new human resource on
insert/update/delete geo-feature using ArcObjects/ArcSDE is so much
higher when compared to OGC-SFS, per example.
# support : while on FOSS communities you can have a reply on minutes,
on 'esri forum' you can your topic open for months (
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=985&t=270205&g=1 ) and NEVER
get a solution. In my sample, we discover a bug on ArcSDE/ArcMap
9.2sp4 but this will certainly NEVER be fixed because sp6 didnÂ´t fixed
and ESRI will probably only look for 9.3 developments for now and on.
Because non-US customers CANÂ´T contact ESRI directly, we can only keep
suffering with poor local support.
Not much to add at this point…