The Thing About Disclosure

Whenever someone says they are unbiased, I tend to sit up a little bit straighter. Inevitably, the Shakespearean, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” comes to mind as I wonder why someone is making such a noise about their neutrality. Then I wonder when we’ll see some disclosure, or how much research I’ll have to do to understand the speaker’s motivations. To me, there’s not much worse than someone hiding an obvious connection that would influence their opinion.

So, in the interest of full disclosure, allow me to note a few things. I’m still friends with the guys at Engineered Efficiency, I still do work with EE, and I still highly recommend their CivilAccess program to all of you. I have done and still do work for Autodesk on occasion, not to mention that I write a book about each year’s product which is heavily dependent on being me being part of the Beta program. I have clients, peers and friends all over the world through this blog, AU, etc., and I do my best to support their companies and their services. If that ever influences a post, you’ll know about it. Finally, I’m not above a good bribe, preferably in the form of bourbon.

At the end of the day, I won’t even claim to be unbiased. I have my biases, but you can count on my being upfront about them. Make sure you treat the rest of your sources with the same cynical eye.


  1. “…Iā€™m still friends with the guys at Engineered Efficiency, I still do work with EE, and I still highly recommend their CivilAccess program to all of you.”

    You say the nicest thing šŸ˜‰ Seriously, for the record, I agree with James… we are all still friends, and we respect his work.

    Seems like much ado about nothing brewing in the DG. Isn’t _everyone_ biased in some way or another? If not against Civil 3D, then against ERSI or some other competitor? Shouldn’t we all be biased towards the best all-around product? and by “best” I mean by a compilation of all factors, not just features. Won’t that serve our clients and our client’s clients best?

  2. Ryan Noyes says:

    I wish I had read what the latest DG rant was about, passionate people even when the passion is misdrected are always entertaining to listen to. I would like to say as someone who frequently reads the DG and follows (as well as a person who has seen you work with the development team in Manchester) I appreciate the work you do to try to improve the product and show people how to use the product more effectively.

    I am not someone who is paid by Autodesk or a reseller. I am a user and troubleshooter for my company. I find the info you all post well worth any Autodesk Kool-Aid your advice is served with. I also think the opinion of an informed person like a reseller or an author is of higher value than a rant by some over-caffinated end user like myself. I also find the Kool-Aid served by you and some resellers usually is a bit watered down in comparison to what is served directly from Autodesk.

    Mark’s comments about we all should be biased are accurate as well, most of us have some bias, the difficultly is with all of us having slightly different goals (stability, model integrity, ease of use, plan production speed, interoperability, cost, etc) defining what “the best all around product” is impossible.

    I try to remember when the radicals start ranting each product out there has it’s warts. Hopefully we can continue to see each product evolve as the other challenges it for market share. I don’t think anyone can argue that the competition we see between Civil 3D, the Bentley apps, and Carlson has been a bad thing. Each group’s enhancements have challenged the others.

  3. I have heard stories that James sometimes hangs out with undesirable characters.