Over the last several weeks I have made several postings to Geonet
about specific issues. I think all but one remain unresolved,
though not through any fault of those responders who have
tried to help with the experience they have (thank you all).
My overall assessment of this software (I am talking 10.3.1 Basic,
but previous 10.1+ versions exhibit these problems), is that the product
is a trying experience for anyone not blessed with the patience
1. It is geologically slow. I have a the latest MacBook Pro, 16G solid state memory,
run Windows under Parallels. I allocate 8G to windows, and ARcGIS can use only 4G.
Windows7 boots into this hard/software environment within 5 seconds. My not exceptionally
complex maps take about a minute, and frequently much longer to display on ArcGIS invocation.
2. The maps are endless redrawing, with attendant delay, for no apparent reason.
and, contrariwise, I often see "redrawing Cancelled" also for no apparent reason.
3. Two maps of mine became corrupted for no obvious reason -- they had been displayed,
and so reports generated about them with python scripts, but no saving and/or
programmatic change had been requested.
4. The software seems to become slower the longer it remains up.
5. Basemap layers don't display correctly after extended uptime (see details in another post).
6. The python interface has at least one serious bug -- python dies or hangs. (see details in another post)
Python scripts take an absolute eternity to run.
7. The program sometimes hangs, becoming completely unresponsive, and has to be restarted.
8. Certain spatial joins fail completely (see details in another post)
9. Every time (and I do mean every 10.0=>10.1,10.1=>10.2, 10.2=>10.3.1)
I upgrade this software, I run into some problem or other,
whether benign or not is difficult to say. Most recently, with 10.3.1,
I get a cryptic message about "Tom Sawyer Software" being unable
to register a DLL. That last one seems to be benign, and was investigated
by ESRI with no answer being forthcoming.
10. Many of the python based tools have interfaces which are not well designed.
For instance, the spatial join tool allows one to discard certain feature from
a target layer in the join, but these have to be deleted one by one, which
is unnecessarily time consuming. Some of the tools display
existing layers in a dropdown list, but a bug with the BA analyst means
that the list scrolls to the lowest layer in the map, when it is far
more likely that the layer of interest is atvthe top of the list (reported and
confirmed as a bug more than one year ago; no fix in sight)
11. And one more thing that I forgot in my list above (added on edit). Why
is the software always asked me whether I want to save a map
that has not changed? Just displayed; no changes of any kind made.
But still asks me on exit whether I wish to save it.
12. The arcpy api is still insufficient.it does not allow one to identify
dataset joins. It does not allow editing of field aliases. And
the whole design of it seems confusing and contorted.
My overall impression of this software is that features have been piled into it
without sufficient regard for software bloat and performance, and without
sufficient testing on various software environments which supposedly are supported.
Our small company (NSW corp, private) has spent something like 35K on this
software over three years for single use, desktop only, licenses.
I think we should expect better than this. ESRI support is always
polite, and often quite helpful on smaller issues (often with workarounds), but these big ticket
performance problems and bugs are just wasting my time and preventing us
from bringing to fruition the analysis which GIS is intended to help us solve.
In the last three weeks or so I think I have spent more than half my time
seeking help on Geonet (thanks to all for help/advice received), and that
is just too much.