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Today I saw Can ArcGIS service pack be uninstalled at 10.1? which is about a software version (strictly speaking a service pack) that I understand is not yet released.

Questions on commercial software in Beta Release usually do not make it to the forums due to Beta Agreements that prevent them being discussed publicly, but occasionally even they sneak through.

If software is not in General Release, or at least generally available, should Questions about them be asked here?

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I asked that question, and in hindsight, GIS SE was the wrong place to ask it, and I should have directed it to Esri themselves.

In my defense, I was under the impression that although it was not in the public domain, it was still the final version of the SP, just released 2 days earlier for distributors.

This is why I have left the question open, as I am still unsure if others encounter the same issue, or if I have run the wrong files, as I am experiencing different behaviour to an answer on that question.

If need be, I will take this up with Esri, and if it is an issue due to me using an earlier version, then I agree, the post should be removed to avoid confusion to future readers.

And to answer your question, from an Esri perspective, my stance would be (starting from now) to avoid asking questions about Esri products that are either in Beta or not available to the wider public domain.

Apologies for any confusion this question raised.

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Open Source

Yes, like Qgis 1.9 on Ubuntu 12.04 constant crashes as soon as I try to do anything

Commercial Software

But as mentioned in the question about beta releases (like ESRI have beta agreements do not allow public access or knowledge).

  • Should these sorts of questions be flagged for removal if they concern commercial products, as there is likely a breach occurring there? – Get Spatial Oct 29 '12 at 20:15
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    @GetSpatial IMO enforcing compliance with license terms isn't our concern. I certainly wouldn't shy away from pointing out likely breaches or conflicts though. – matt wilkie Oct 29 '12 at 22:48
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    Mapperz, the grammar indicates part of the answer is missing. What's supposed to follow "Commercial Software"? ;-) – matt wilkie Oct 29 '12 at 22:52
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I'd run under the assumption that if the user has posted the question, they're allowed to. Leave it for the user to do due-diligence; to do otherwise is to open a can of worms (do you actually know if the vendor has a NDA? Maybe its just limited release or a bespoke patch? We can't know).

If it turns out they're not allowed to (i.e., the software vendor turns up and complains/flags it), the mods can delete it.


Of course, the other aspect of the question is - how useful will the answers be for a product that very few people will have access to in the first place? But in most cases eventually the product will be released any and then there'll be a larger pool of answerers.

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    Question was purely about whether such Questions should be asked - due to issues being likely to crop up that affect very limited audience and then fixed before general release. It is up to vendors to police their own Beta and Non-disclosure Agreements. – PolyGeo Nov 12 '12 at 22:21

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