Alexey Melnikov Application 2009

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My name is Alexey Melnikov and I'm re-applying for my XSF membership.

You can probably figure out where I got the template for this page. But anyway, feel free to contact me via email or jabber. Both are alexey (full stop) melnikov (the weird sign that delimits left hand side from the right hand side) isode (full stop again) com.

Oh, BTW, if you fail to contact me over XMPP, because the XMPP server is down, that is still Dave Cridland's fault.


I am in my early thirties. I live in Greater London area in UK.

I have a master degree with honours in applied mathematics and computer science from Moscow State University (VMiK faculty). My diploma was about writing an extensible SMTP server which supported SMTP Checkpoint Restart extension (RFC 1845) and SMTP AUTH extension.

I am currently working for Isode (*).

Jabber/XMPP Projects

Code (present and future)

  • I am one of the maintainers of the CMU SASL library [1], which is used for SASL support in various open-source XMPP clients and servers. I am spending too much time fixing auxprop API and writing GSS-API (Kerberos) and SCRAM SASL plugins lately.
  • I am currently reviewing and contributing some code to the Isode's XMPP server called M-Link. My work is mostly related to use of Cyrus SASL, configuration library, command line management tools and integration with LDAP.

I am still hoping to work on a message archiving (XEP-0136) implementation.

  • Another project of mine is going to be about sending XMPP notifications from Sieve [2] upon new mail arrival (based on RFC 5437).

XMPP related documents, reviews

  • I got an acknowledgment in RFC 3920 for reviewing SASL and TLS use in XMPP.
  • RFC 5437 (mostly done by Peter Saint-Andre).
  • I also got acknowledged for my comments on XEP-0233 (Use of Domain-Based Service Names in XMPP SASL Negotiation) and for my review of XEP-0136 (Message Archiving).
  • I've commented on XEP-0257 (Client Certificate Management for SASL EXTERNAL) and presented it during XMPP IETF Working Group meeting in San Francisco.
  • I am one of the co-editors of the SCRAM authentication mechanism, which hopefully would replace DIGEST-MD5 as mandatory-to-implement password based authentication mechanism in XMPP.
  • At my free time I encourage my co-workers to implement XEP-0263. Periodic power outages at work and bugs introduced by my co-workers do help though.


I am quite active in IETF and have 27 RFCs published (6 more since the last year) [3].

In IETF I am one of the two Application [4] Area Directors (ADs), which means that every 2 weeks I am stuck reviewing about 15 to 20 documents before they are approved as RFCs. I am also responsible for various Apps Area Working Groups [5].

As an AD I am responsible to IRI (Internationalized Resource Identifiers) BOF in Hiroshima in November, which might affect XMPP IRI. I am also hoping to organize SASLPrep/StringPrep related discussion during the next IETF meeting in Spring 2010.

I am also active in the Simple Security and Security (SASL) Working Group [6].

Jabber - Why I like it

I used to use ICQ back in University. IM helped me to connect to friends and family while I was away.

Since then I've started using Jabber for virtual attendance of IETF conferences.

These days I am very keen on open protocols, so I refused to use AOL AIM, Yahoo! IM and other non standard IM protocols. Besides XMPP is relatively cleanly designed.

One can say that I am addicted to XMPP. I get very annoyed when I can't talk to somebody because the person is offline or S2S is down, or when the person I am chatting with is not responding INSTANTLY.

Why do I care?

In XSF I am hoping to contribute my IETF experience to make description of the core protocol and design of various extensions better. I am also hoping of bringing the best of XMPP back to IETF. (And as an IESG member I would like to review more XMPP document rather than SIP, I am forced to review every 2 weeks ;-))

I also like discussions driven by actual client or server implementors, and I like energy surrounding new XMPP developments. The Council/Board election drama this year just confirms my point.

(*) - That 23 people strong Evil Empire that took over XSF.