When we think of Esri scripting and authoring languages, we think Python. Esri jumped in with two feet with Python and we were all much better off for it. But alas, as awesome as Python is, it isn’t as portable across the Esri ecosystem as they would like. To solve the problem either you choose another language to use that is more portable (JavaScript) or you write your own expression language and make is appear like Python and JavaScript had a baby.

Simpsons Arcade

At the Esri Arcade

Well that’s what Esri did, take Python, take JavaScript and a new expression language. Now in an open world this would be great because anything I wrote in Arcade would be usable anywhere else. But this is an Esri only solution as I can’t imagine other companies jumping in on it. But in Esriland, that’s OK because the ecosytem is large enough to support learning a proprietary language.

I don’t use Esri software anymore so I can’t play with it but it is a logical solution to their problem of having to write code to work with data in different platforms. Theoretically one can now use Arcade to author and render maps and let the Esri software handle the rest. I’d wait to see what happens with Arcade and the eventual 1.x release. It’s the Esri Web ADF talking but…

Simpsons Playing Video Game

Wait, another proprietary programing language?