Dave Cridland for Board 2013

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Dave Cridland

I'm standing for the XSF Board.

This page explains who I am, why I'm standing, and why this might be a good thing.

And also, why it might be a very bad thing.

Who Are You?

I'm Dave Cridland. I've served on the Board before, as Chair. I've also served on the Council too. I'm chairing the Jingle SIG (which, note, I'll drop if I'm elected). I've written a bunch of RFCs and XEPs. I do, still, own a suit. It's actually a pretty nice suit. And a stripy shirt. And even a tie. And I'm willing to use them.

I work at Arcode as "Protocol Droid" and token Brit, on Inky, which is an email client (so IMAP and ESMTP) - over the previous year I've left my job of six years and started a new one - my new employer supports my standing for Board.

Why Are you Standing?

Because I couldn't find anywhere to sit down.


I'm standing because I think the Board can, and should, do more. I'm standing because the XSF didn't say anything about Google publicly dropping support for XMPP. I'm standing because the XSF was not involved in the Montevideo Statement. I'm standing because Peter Saint-Andre organized the whole of Summit 14 himself. I'm standing because it's better to do from the inside, than to moan from the outside. I'm standing because the Board should be visible to the XSF, and the XSF should be visible to the world.

But Why You?

Good question. You know, I was actually going to stand for the Council again this year, and I have to say I'd prefer to do that. But I'm not going to, because despite the Council being more fun, the XSF (and XMPP as a whole) doesn't really need me to. Not that I'd be bad at the job, but nor would all the people standing as I write this. We've got a lot of new blood standing, too, with diverse viewpoints - I'm actually really excited by this year's Council candidates, and I don't want to risk being a reason why some of them didn't get in. It's going to be a hard enough choice, I really don't want to confuse the issue. So if I stood for Council, I'd be really hoping not to get in. Which would, I suspect, be quite odd.

We are always short on Board candidates, though. Board is tougher, it has way lower visibility, but it's got longer-term importance that Council doesn't in the same way. Council is responsible for protocol quality - Board is responsible for ensuring we have the right environment to support that, and responsible for ensuring that people use those protocols we create. I think we should - as a community - be supporting Board's activities at least as much as we support the XEPs themselves.

That's hard to arrange, because Board lacks a remit as well-defined as Council. I want to try and concretely define work items for the Board over the next year, such that the Board itself knows what it needs to achieve, and so that the XSF membership and wider community knows what it can help with, and what it should expect. We've a tough year ahead of us, with a FOSDEM where we're not going to have a devroom for the first time in years, and the impact of none of the major players using federation will be hard. But we have positives, too - the clear need for much of the WebRTC community for a federated open signalling protocol is a clear opportunity for us, and one we should welcome.

Some of this is technical work - and interestingly for me, it's technical work that I don't have a technical viewpoint on. Some of this is marketing work - we need to position ourselves, and talk convincingly. A lot of this is internal work that won't be much fun - but I think it's worth doing.

Wait, you said this might be bad?

I think the XSF is missing opportunities right now. So I think we'll need both the Board, and the membership as a whole, to really kick themselves into a higher gear. Or a lower one. Like, you know, when you need to get some more power when you're overtaking. I'm not good at analogies.

But this is unlikely to be all smiles and fun. Some of it, undoubtedly, will be a lot of fun, and I think it'll be rewarding if we pull it off. It should even be finanically rewarding - XMPP skills, which we all have in high quality, should be made more desirable, and that means we all earn more. But it will take work, and we'll have to face some unpleasant facts no doubt. If voted in, I assure you I won't try to avoid our failings - including my own.

OK, Let's Talk

If you'd like to drop me a private mail, mailto:dave@cridland.net - private IM at xmpp:dwd@dave.cridland.net. Well, private modulo prism...

Also feel free to direct questions publicly to the XSF Members List at mailto:members@xmpp.org or the XSF Chatroom at xmpp:xsf@muc.xmpp.org?join