Just wondering if anyone remembers the days of AML and command line.
Personally, I find the history of programming languages quite fascinating. Although understanding the technical aspects of various languages is interesting, and practically useful, it is more the social side of the history that I enjoy learning about the older I get. All languages are living, to some extent, but natural languages evolve so slowly and the idea of a new natural language being broadly adopted is, well, impossible for me to imagine. Whereas a lay person might think a programming language is just a way to tell a computer what to do, I think programming languages are languages for people as much as computers, which is a big part of why the history of them interests me.
Regarding AML, it was an all right language. There were a few aspects of it that I liked, but it was a language developed around a specific product, and I think that limited its ability to grow, and hence live on. I think Esri was smart to let it go and focus on writing macros or scripting through VB/VBA and eventually Python.
And never forget about Arc/Edit COGO, the Map Librarian (Index coverage/tiles/check-out & check-in/build & clean) and the old "Info" of Arc/Info and plotter configuration files;
X-window emulators, T-1 lines, NFS shares
Maybe ESRI will include a "History of ESRI Development" booth / meeting room / or virtual reality experience
Something like the Star Trek Holodeck
All the UC attendees could help them story board it at one of those walk-bye where you are from banners to sign each year.
You know, I think that they did offer at least one session on the history of ESRI at the conference.
It's been going downhill ever since then.
In many ways, I wish we were still at that stage. It kept the unskilled and untrained Geographers and GIS technicians out of the industry because you actually had to know your stuff. I work with someone who has had 1 GIS class and considers herself an authority in GIS. I am constantly having to clean up her mess and internal clients have learned not to ask her to do anything. The sad/ironic/funny part is she grabs onto a term as if she knows it and then throws it around to make herself sound knowledgeable.
I also worked at a GIS chop shop for several years as ArcView and ArcInfo were merging into ArcGIS and I saw the company train people to just push the buttons without understanding the concepts or spatial relationships behind their work.
I understand what you are saying, and see it myself, but the democratization of any technology goes through this type of transition. I am quite sure there are professional photographers that lament the explosion of hobbyists in their field since digital photography reached the masses. Who knows, maybe the old scribes felt the same way when a printing press came around or the printing press folks felt the same when personal copiers became available.
I am a firm believer in "spatial isn't special," at least not anymore. For many decades, it was treated as special, but I think there were good reasons why it was and possibly needed to be. Today, the barriers to spatial are collapsing all around us, and at some point in the not-too-distant future working with spatial data will be no different than working with business productivity tools for most people. Don't get me wrong, most people just stumble and grope their way through using word processors or spreadsheets, but those tools and technologies have reached the masses.
As frustrating as it is to see, the geo-steno pool will eventually go away just like the steno pool did decades ago. There will always be a need for GIS professionals, but the scope of work will evolve as geospatial becomes democratized and commoditized.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I love seeing the technology grow and involve remote areas of the world. They are GPSing and mapping native lands and rare plant species. It's an exciting time as these data get gathered. It's just a double edged sword, especially when it comes to knowing about projections, coordinate systems and datums. It can change your data and how you calculate. It's just not about "Pretty Maps" and lines.
I hear you Susan. Did you ever try to calculate an area using Web Mercator?
Ah, the good ole days of AML and coding Odd and Even program sections in Info. AML was a very powerful language with some features that I miss. I still keep a copy of Arc/Info 9.3.1 around on an old server so I can get to the command window, AML, ArcEdit, ArcPlot, etc.
I sure do. SML also. I still have a file with all of the macros I wrote. Along with all my ArcInfo coverages.
And how many of you know a GISP that couldn't map their way out of a paper bag, so to speak?
Two possible followup polls would be interesting
But we digress from the present
It's been a long time since I've seen the dreaded 'Segmentation Violation' msg box.
Error: Segmentation Violation
It brought back memories when the ArcGIS Pro projects were to be called *.aprx
While we are on this cool trip down memory lane, how about digitizing boards and registering paper maps in ArcInfo repeatedly until you had an acceptable RMS error with the TICCOV.
How about the pre-GIS days? I still have my Leroy lettering set, planimeter, Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pens, blue-line pencil, electric eraser, French curves and saved some Zipatone, rubylith, scribe-coat and mylar. How many people on this board have made a map using these tools . I did toss my messy pounce bag though.
How many remember Prime CPL, the precursor and inspiration for AML?
Holy smokes... I'm feeling a bit creaky, because I remember all this stuff. Glory days for sure.
I remember once running into Jack Dangermond at a URISA conference, must of been in the early or mid-90s. He and I visited for a few minutes as he was preparing the 'Jack Show'. He said he wanted to bring "GIS into the mainstream". I responded by saying "I'm not ready to be mainstream"...
AML is much better left as a memory. We use it in the office to scare young people.
Ok, and how many got an AML award at the ESRI Conference... my one claim to fame...
Just powered off ArcIMS and tossed all my ARC/XML programming references into the shredder too.
I remember when ArcGIS 8.0 came out, every Esri sales rep, said coverages are never going away, they will always use coverages. So much for my investment in AML and Avenue classes.
They may have been correct, I think they call coverages parcel fabric or local gov model these days
I have a book on AML which is called ARC Macro Language. I never use it.
In my early days I created a shell program that sat on top of the old ArcInfo - so they didn't have to remember all the important commands. It would print out custom maps at the touch of a few buttons. Got showcased at an ESRI conference in 1997 and about a year later they released ArcMap.
It takes me back down memory lane.
AML was the topic of my first presentation at the university in remote sensing back in 2006. Until 2014 i worked with AMLs and ArcInfo to deliniate Hydrological Response Units and parameters for hydrological modelling....
Or who can remember Oleg McNoleg?
Retrieving data ...