FUD, FUD, FUD some more

The Simon Hope vs Paul Ramsey posts has some classic asides.

I just had to re-quote the following comment from Atanas Entchev as it made me laugh. I am now personally tasked at seeking out and destroying this mysterious section of psychologists deep within ERDAS headquarters. I will also disassemble all subliminal messages embedded within our marketing and my blog *dons hat*. I have even heard the ESRI psychologist department is some 500 people strong!!

[sic]… the flawed assumption that decision-makers always make decisions based on reason.The “dealers”, on the other hand, know this to be false. So they employ (I speculate) psychologists to design sales tactics (such as FUD) that identify and target decision-makers’ *emotions*. They sell the sizzle, not the steak.

I like my sizzle as well as a good steak. If the steak tastes appalling I send it back. If I didn’t inquire to what I was ordering and expected pork? Well …

And then from Ian Turton,

Does your software use open standards that allow me to switch to another program next year or am I hooked to a conveyor belt of increasing license charges year after year?

Yes, my software does use open standards and yes if you’d like to switch to another program next year be my guest. How many organisations using opensource switch from mapserver to geoserver to mapnik to deegree to mapguide and back again every year? Mapwindow to QGIS to GRASS to UDIG to JUMP? SQLite to Postgres to Mysql? FDO to OGR to Geotools …? Although the FUD from opensource radicals (for lack of a better word) that proprietary solutions have a perpetual ball and chain, this just isn’t true. Sure some workflows are but certainly not to the degree some make out and I’d be damned to think of many without alternatives.

Come on lads, the underlying expectation here is that the vendors are somehow responsible for corporate (or not) entities selecting the wrong tool for the job or paying through the nose when there are viable and cost effective alternatives. Due diligence is king. After all, you are the ones with the $$, the phone to the ear, the door you can close, the conference you didn’t have to attend, the support and maintenance you didn’t have to renew and the software you didn’t have to use. Its my job to prove to you the value of ERDAS offerings, just as its Simon’s job to prove ESRI, Brett’s to prove Mapinfo or FME and Cameron’s to prove  Mapserver or Geoserver. Whats the diff, really,between Cameron doing the pushing and the first three?