Dave Cridland for Council 2008

Jump to navigation Jump to search


I'm Dave Cridland, with a depressingly short history within the XMPP world, but a long history within messaging - including instant messaging - and standardization. You can refer back to my original XSF Application to find out more detail on this, but I wrote my first instant messaging system in the last century. You can Google for my involvement back then, by Googling for "Diamond White" BBS, but this largely predates the web, so Google doesn't work all that well.

XMPP Council

Although last year, I set out to be proactive and Get Stuff Sorted, I've found that almost inevitably, I've moved to being much more reactive - dealing with specifications as they arrive, and trying to seek out problems and issues in them.

The vote tallies don't really show it, but I suspect I've voted against more XEPs than any other member - I'd like to think this implies I'm finding more problems than others. I've been present for every meeting, although late one or twice, which I consider to be reasonable attendance. I've generally managed to read the XEPs in advance of the meetings, too, but obviously not quite in advance enough to raise issues prior to the meetings themselves.

Of course, you might say I'm standing in the way of progress, but I like to think of it as lying down in front of the bulldozer of rushed ideas in order to protect the house of interoperability. Or some equally bizarre, but less pretentious, metaphor.

I've often managed to get external review of various specifications - mostly by tricking Isode staff members into reviewing specifications. I'm lucky enough to have essentially direct access to both editors of the SASL spec (Kurt and Alexey work with me), as well as expertise on X.509 and other such things, and I've mercilessly used it to paper over the gaping holes in my knowledge, hopefully to good effect.

I've tried - successfully on one or two occasions - to increase external attendance of the Council meetings. On those occasions it's worked, it's been really useful to have implementors we can quiz about our concerns - at least once, it's caused me to change my vote, when I've worried that something won't work in practice, only to discover that it already does.

I'd like to be doing more of the same this session, and in particular, try to review documents much more ahead of time, so that I'm voting down documents less often. I'll continue to encourage people to join in the council meetings.

If pressed, I'd say that we're likely to get Jingle, XMPPbis, and various other exciting things finalized this session. I'm not going to promise this will happen, and I can't even say that I won't end up preventing it, although I don't see why I would right now. But I'm hoping we can get it all through easily.

New work that is likely to get started is a tidy-up of Multi User Chat - this is a venerable old thing that we use constantly, but it doesn't work with vCard based avatars or PEP, and stubbornly refuses to scale as well as we think it ought to.

IETF Background

I've been an active member of the IETF for a number of years, concentrating first in FTPEXT a decade ago, and then, after a small lapse, moving into roaming configuration in ACAP and then Internet mail, particularly on small devices and bad networks. I started off as an individual - paying my own way to the Paris meeting - but now a certain amount of my IETF work is backed by Isode.

I have three published RFCs, and a few drafts, including the revision of the Lemonade Profile. I'm mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of several published RFCs. I've worked primarily in the Applications area, although I also keep an eye on some working groups in RAI (such as SIMPLE) and SEC (such as SASL). I have designed a SASL mechanism from scratch, and I'm on the Apps Review team.


I am employed by Isode Ltd, a company which has a strong track record of developing and implementing standards.

Isode staff members have published well in excess of 100 RFCs - that's averaging over 5 per person, including LDAP, MIXER, IMAP, SMTP, SNMP, and SASL related standards track documents within the IETF, as well as having a significant presence in the development of X.500 and X.400. There is no truth to the rumour that Isode only does XMPP because we thought it was X.MPP.

Isode's XMPP server, M-Link, is a crucial thrust of our "new" technology, and therefore Isode has an obvious interest in promoting and developing XMPP within the XSF.

I have full backing from Isode Ltd in standing for the Council, although I do so as an individual.

Why I'm (still) standing

It's become very fashionable to say that XMPP is not just about IM - and that's true, and important - but it's equally true that XMPP is, still, about IM, nonetheless. Sure, you *can* use it as a openly-federated machine message passing system, and that's really good, but I can (and do) also use it to chat to my mum, and no matter how useful or wonderful being able to enmesh the glooposphere, or whatever this week's fad is, chatting to my mum (or my brother, or my work colleagues, or ...) wins out in an agreeably mundane manner, when you stop and think about it.

An awful lot of what I've worked on in my professional life has been to do with this most human of activities - communication. From the old-school telnet BBSs (people talking to each other), through ACAP (making it easier), and the IMAP work (people writing each other nice messages), I think it's still the most vital function of the Internet, and solid, well-designed, open standards allow this to be available to everyone.

By standing for Council with the backing of my employer, I get to spend a considerable amount of time working on XMPP standardization that otherwise I'd have to do in my spare time - and being married and a father of two, there's other demands there.

In short, I have strong personal and professional reasons to want to benefit XMPP, I think I can provide benefits in return, and I think the best way of doing so is by continuing to serve as a Council member.

I'm hoping you agree.

Other reasons to vote for me

  • Otherwise I'll stand for US President.
  • It's a legal requirement to have at least one Dave in the Council.
  • TV is terrible on Wednesday evenings anyway.
  • My ego needs your help.


Feel free to contact me either via Jabber at xmpp:dwd@dave.cridland.net, or by email at mailto:dave@cridland.net

Also, please feel free to contact other council members and ask them if they think I've been useful for the past year.

I also hang about in xmpp:jdev@conference.jabber.org?join too, as dwd.