Mon 20 December 2010
RJ Zimmer at American Surveyor magazine did what he described as a comparison of several free GIS application entitled "Something for Nothing"
First of all, the title bugs me. The idea that the sole benefit of free software is simply cost savings is pretty naive. It disregards openness, community support, ability to transfer knowledge, freedom from restrictive licensing, etc. But I can live with the title.
I can also live with his decision to include only a single open-source GIS application alongside 3 closed-but-gratis applications. He doesn't claim that it's a comprehensive review despite the fact that the ecosystem of Free GIS is far more diverse.
But I can't accept his treatment of Quantum GIS:
I did not fully test Quantum GIS. I did download and install it but the software was too complicated to use "right out of the box", and I did not have time to learn to use it.
The feature comparison chart includes mainly "?" in the QGIS column.
OK we get it - your deadline hit before you could bother to learn one of the applications you were supposedly reviewing. One even wonders why he included QGIS the review at all. This is nothing short of irresponsible reporting. When people post stuff like this, it really rubs me the wrong way - now a whole audience of users have a inaccurate view of QGIS and entire free GIS ecosystem thanks to his slacker journalism.