Is this quote accurate?

Story: Sam Hiser's Comment on the MassGov ETRM DocumentTotal Replies: 1
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Sep 07, 2005
8:02 AM EDT
From an article linked from today's LXer (7th Sept.)

A Sept. 2, 2005 article in the Boston Globe, which has this quote:
Quoting: 'The way they've gone about this is brilliant, " said Sam Hiser, an open source software consultant who took part in the deliberations leading up to the report...

If true, a statement should have prefaced the above with a list any potential conflicts of interest, so the reader may assess what weight if any to give to a possible distorting influence. However, I am hoping that the paper got it wrong and associated the perspective given above (or your being a witness) as being part of the process. Nonetheless, this quote gives me pause
Quoting: Regarding the part of the document on document formats -- the only section upon which I am either qualified or invited to comment

If the Boston Globe got it wrong, then you should expect to be attacked using the misinformation published in the article. But if the article is correct, you could be properly accused of hiding your direct participation in a process when trying to give the appearance of an interested outsider commending the process and its conclusions.

In any case, I would really like to know what your role was, if any.

Sep 07, 2005
10:30 AM EDT

It is a fair question you raise.

I was a document file format "expert" among the numerous vendor representatives attending the June open document forum at the Massachusetts State House. Most, if not all, people attending that meeting are cc'd at the bottom of my comment letter dated September 6, 2005. As an attendee of that meeting, I was invited to comment upon the document file formats section of the ETRM document specifically; and as a member of the public I elected to comment in my letter on the ETRM document as a whole.

Hiawatha Bray quoted me correctly but partially in his article in The Boston Globe. In speaking to Mr Bray, I emphasized the scope of the ETRM document -- rather than its potential negative implications for Microsoft (which I view as merely a follow-on consequence of this positive declaration for truly open standards and inevitable, anyway) -- and offered from my vantage-point as a witness in that meeting that the team at the CIO's office had handled the whole process of declaring MassGov's vision for a Service Oriented Architecture ("SOA") as "brilliant." The meeting itself was professional, cordial and the attending members of the Mass ITD conducted themselves neutrally toward the arguments and discussion. As my comment letter states, I also feel they have made a correct and appropriate commitment to OpenDocument within this larger context of the projected SOA.

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