Exposing The Crap

Tom Charron, COO of Rapidform, left this comment on Ralph Grabowski’s post titled “Desktop Engineering fails to reveal pay-for-play“:

As a vendor, I’ve been approached many times by DE for their Pick of the Week, and it was always quite clear that it was pay for play. I never took them up on it. I figure anyone who cared was well aware that this stuff was all about who paid and not which products are actually the most interesting/promising.

Ultimately, the problem is that the CAD space doesn’t have a magazine that can actually charge subscribers — it costs a lot to print those glossy mags, and all that cost is borne by the vendors. It’s the same reason we can’t get an honest product review or comparison. The mags are too scared to lose advertising dollars if they tick off any vendors.

Today I was having an email conversation with someone who wrote:

I’m kinda bemused by all this “shocked! shocked!” business. What? This is news to you?

No, this is not news to me or to many in the industry. However, what is news is the names that are being mentioned in public. I have been writing about the pay for play that goes on in CAD publishing for quite a while now. Earlier people used to dare me to name names. I got to name Desktop Engineering because they did a really stupid thing by letting that PR guy put his name to a product review (see “Product Reviews In Magazines“). Ralph took it a step further. And now people like Tom Charron are supporting Ralph’s allegations.

If this is the start of something then I like it. You know why? Because there are honest people out there who are not part of this cesspool. And its not fair if they get tarred by the same brush. The good thing is that its not very difficult to find out who they are if you pay close attention to their publications and their content.

And by the way, this crap is not only limited to the media alone. I have heard of obscene amounts being paid to so-called independent “analysts” to cook up white papers and “research” that support a vendor’s claim. I tell you absolutely obscene amounts. That too from people who have signed the checks. I’m not sure if all this is even legal.

My humble request to vendors is to stop insulting your customers and prospects by indulging in pay for play. It is absolutely sickening and reflects very badly on you and your products. It may help to keep in mind that your target audience is not bunch of freaking idiots.

Bottom line. It takes two hands to clap. And yours is one of them.

  • DeelipReader

    it’s a shame. internet is filled with this type of CAD reviews. all of them are biased. they have no more value than a spam. here’s a “review” by Develop3d about wildfire 5.0 surfacing. WF 5.0 certainly does not have the highlighted capabilities.
    http://i56.tinypic.com/9vij9y.jpg

  • DeelipReader

    crap reviews by eggspurts are all around.
    here’s a review of Wildfire 5.0 that highlights capabilities that it does NOT have. courtesy of Develop3d.
    http://i56.tinypic.com/9vij9y.jpg
    (sorry if it’s a double comment)

  • http://twitter.com/stlplace stlplace

    I am not that surprised so called “industry analyst” engaged in pay-to-play scheme. This is similar to wall street analysts engaged in “pump and dump” scheme with their company’s trading guys, in terms of conflict of interest.

    In software world, this scheme is not limited to the CAD software. Yesterday I read the hottest area of software nowadays iPhone app review sites ask money from developer/publisher:
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/app-store-payola/

  • Kevin Quigley

    Funny, that Develop3D is being highlighted by Deelip Reader. Develop3D is the only CAD magazine I bother reading anymore. I happen to think they do an excellent job of getting to the core of the issues and reporting it how it is from a general point of view.

    The problem with reviewing software is that most software of a similar kind does a similar job. the differences come down to interface, performance and specific features. In general they can all knock up simple models, churn out drawings etc. Ditto for CAE apps as well. A software reviewer must choose to limit the scope of the review to new features or to give an impression of the application as a whole.

    The problem for the end user is that the only way to really assess software is to try it and use it on a project. I have bought apps direct from reading reviews – like HDR Light Studio in Develop3d – but they tend to be utility type apps rather than core systems. When I am on the hunt for a new app I look at reviews, look at blogs, look at vendor sites, then try it out.

    I think most users are actually much more savvy than many like to let on. Like I said I only read Develop3D now. All the others are consigned to the recycling pile as soon as they arrive in the letterbox……now where was that feature on that 6 display video card…..I got to get me one of them!

  • http://twitter.com/alistardean al dean

    OK – let’s deal with accusation aimed at the magazine myself and the team put together.

    Firstly, the editorial is unbiased, particularly software reviews. Quite why @deelipreader chose to highlight this particular issue, I’m not too sure. Frankly, I find it incredible that someone feels its OK to denigrate a publication, then highlight what might have been an error in reporting, of functionality not making a release following a demonstration and investigation based on Beta code (which we regularly do, to get the word out to users in advance where possible) at best, but certainly nowhere near an indicator of biased. But to not bother reading the documentation, that’s just plain annoying and mildly offensive.

    Anyway. here’s the skinny.

    For the relax tangency in a curve option, take a look at the video towards the bottom of this page, it shows the tangency relaxing options.:

    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77907&icg_dbkey=826

    For point 2 and 3, both of these are covered in the video at the bottom of this page pretty much:

    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77910&icg_dbkey=826

    Note: these tools are in the ISDX module, which most Pro/E users recognise as being the holding place for the advanced surfacing tools. That should have been pointed out, so mu apologies for that.

    Also note that these pages are from the release documentation. One thing springs to mind. Read The F***ing Manual. Particularly before you start throwing your anonymous comments about.

    Al Dean, Editor-in-Chief, DEVELOP3D. Out.

    PS: Kevin.. Thanks for the kind words. Means a great deal to know that some people get what we’re trying to do.

  • http://twitter.com/alistardean al dean

    OK – let’s deal with accusation aimed at the magazine myself and the team put together. Firstly, the editorial is unbiased, particularly software reviews.

    Quite why @deelipreader chose to highlight this particular issue, I’m not too sure. Frankly, I find it incredible that someone feels its OK to denigrate a publication, then highlight what might have been an error in reporting, of functionality not making a release following a demonstration and investigation based on Beta code (which we regularly do, to get the word out to users in advance where possible) at best, but certainly nowhere near an indicator of biased. But to not bother reading the documentation, that’s just plain annoying and mildly offensive.

    Anyway. here’s the skinny.

    For the relax tangency in a curve option, take a look at the video towards the bottom of this page, it shows the tangency relaxing options.:
    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77907&icg_dbkey=826

    For point 2 and 3, both of these are covered in the video at the bottom of this page pretty much:
    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77910&icg_dbkey=826

    Note: these tools are in the ISDX module, which most Pro/E users recognise as being the holding place for the advanced surfacing tools. That should have been pointed out, so mu apologies for that.

    Also note that these pages are from the release documentation. One thing springs to mind. Read The F***ing Manual. Particularly before you start throwing your anonymous comments about.

    Al Dean, Editor-in-Chief, DEVELOP3D. Out.

    PS: Kevin.. Thanks for the kind words. Means a great deal to know that some people get what we’re trying to do.

  • Al Dean

    OK – let’s deal with accusation aimed at the magazine myself and the team put together.

    Firstly, the editorial is unbiased, particularly software reviews. Quite why @deelipreader chose to highlight this particular issue, I’m not too sure. Frankly, I find it incredible that someone feels its OK to denigrate a publication, then highlight what might have been an error in reporting, of functionality not making a release following a demonstration and investigation based on Beta code at best, but certainly nowhere near an indicator of bias.

    But to not bother reading the documentation, that’s just plain annoying and mildly offensive.

    Anyway. here’s the skinny.

    For the relax tangency in a curve option, take a look at the video towards the bottom of this page, it shows the tangency relaxing options.:

    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77907&icg_dbkey=826

    For point 2 and 3, both of these are covered in the video at the bottom of this page pretty much:
    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77910&icg_dbkey=826

    Note: these tools are in the ISDX module, which most Pro/E users recognise as being the holding place for the advanced surfacing tools. That should have been pointed out, so my apologies for that.

    Also note that these pages are from the release documentation. One thing springs to mind. Read The F***ing Manual. Particularly before you start throwing your anonymous comments about.

    Al Dean, Editor-in-Chief, DEVELOP3D. Out.

    PS: Kevin.. Thanks for the kind words. Means a great deal to know that some people get what we’re trying to do.

  • DeelipReader

    it’s a plus that you care about what people think regarding your articles. i think it’s not accurate.
    for the first highlighted point, description in the article is not what the video is showing. what does it mean “to maintain curvature along a curve”?
    curvature “along a curve” is always maintained in ProE. in fact if you could break curvature “along a curve” that would be a new functionality.
    the third point is “matching control points between transitional surfaces”, not the re-parametrization part which is shown in the video. of course matching control points might mean arranging control points to achieve tangency but this is has been around since day one.it can’t be the new feature that the article is talking about.
    perhaps you were referring to “knots matching” capability,which is totally different:
    http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/relnotes/note.jsp?&im_dbkey=77909&icg_dbkey=826

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    DeelipReader, I allow anonymous comments on this blog with the idea that my readers may want to say things without the fear of retribution from their employers and such. I think you are using the anonymity feature for quite something else. I have absolutely no objection to you pointing out the things that you did earlier in this thread and having an open discussion/debate with anyone else. In fact that one of the reasons for me writing this blog. But if you do it anonymously then its not fair. I have allowed your comments so far and would like to continue to do so. Just that I ask you to reveal your true identity if case you wish to pursue this discussion further. I hope you take this the right way.

  • Anonymous

    “I have heard of obscene amounts being paid to so-called independent “analysts” to cook up white papers and “research” that support a vendor’s claim.”

    Funny, but didn’t Tom Charron do this exact same thing back in January, 2011 by paying someone to put together an “objective” reverse engineering study that was so negative against Geomagic? http://www.rapidform.com/products/xor/reverse-engineering-study/




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