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RE: Spreadsheet for the Design of Circular Concrete Column based on ACI 318-05

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I hope that I did not start a trend here. First, let me explain that when I posted my request for beta testers my intent was to place my work into pubic domain. I am not soliciting software and I don’t believe that the intent of this list is to promote the sale of structural software. I will leave this for others to comment on. However, please be aware that MultiLat™ is free software. It has been since the codification of the 97 UBC and remains so today. I promote the sharing of spreadsheet or engineering templates (i.e.; MathCAD or TEDDS) and other tools that is not intended to be sold as a commercial product. I respect those of you who have contacted me about work that they have done to write software for sale, but they don’t assume that they can post solicitation of their work on this site. It is not fair to the developers of commercial software who pay for advertising and will be more than happy to make themselves available to answer any questions you may have. There are tons of great commercial software out there and there fewer but equally good freeware – the difference is that one is intended to share with peers and is acceptable to promote on a list and the other is intended to profit from and is condemned as spam. The SEAINT List used to have a policy about solicitation. Upgrade announcements were allowed.


I personally believe that promoting your work for sale on a site such as this is stepping over the line. There are developers who, I would think, would be happy to share with you the difficulties, challenges and cost in promoting your software for sale. However, posting a link to EBay to sell software exceeds the intent of this list and becomes more than a personal contribution to the professional community – it is, in my opinion, simply spam.


If you wish to market your software, I would suggest taking advertisements out in the industry journals and magazines or pay for advertising banner space as BQE does with BillQuick or as RISA Technologies and the other reputable venders of commercial engineering software would do. If you wish to share your work with others, then you can e-mail me privately and I will be happy to post your contribution on the Structuralist Website (once I have it repaired and updated). I will not post shareware but I will mention that it is available since I do intend to post links to commercial software. However, I will only allow downloads for public domain software with the understanding that the user takes full responsibility for the use of the software. I also promote open-source software and recommend that it be beta tested before releasing it to the professional community. To be honest, I have not always lived up to this standard and have learned from mistakes that others have had to endure. Even Beta testing will not catch all the errors or assure that the user is using to software properly, but it is the best we have.


Bill Polhemus wrote me a few days ago about my opinion on Open-source freeware and potential liability. As far as I know the potential liability with most any software lies with the user and this is the main reason why we include a disclaimer and recommend that no software be used without the user being able to do the calculation manually and having built a professional intuition for the value of the results. I  think most larger companies create their own in-house tools and they assume their own potential liability. Almost every software has some sort of problem that needs to be worked out. Hopefully, the error is on the conservative side.  If you look at non-structural open-source software out there many stand out for their contribution including Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, Wordpress™ Blogging software, Open office Microsoft competitor and many other great products. Cnet writes many great tools for their PC Magazine publication even though they do charge an annual fee to download most of their better monthly contributions. So my opinion is that open-source software can be as good or as bad as any other commercial product out there. The choice is up to the user to determine if the product fills their need.


In the mean time, we are up to about 14 Beta Testers for MultiLat™ and if you are interested in being part of the Beta team the only compensation I can offer you is my thanks since it is freeware :>)



Dennis S. Wish, PE

From: omer S [mailto:omer_60(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 1:38 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Spreadsheet for the Design of Circular Concrete Column based on ACI 318-05


My fellow structural engineers


Over the years, I have developed useful structural engineering spreadsheets that i have been updating for newly released codes from time to time.


I like to sell these spreadsheets to other structural engineers who might be interested.


I am inviting you to have a look at the following link  and give me your feedback.









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