Kevin Smith Application 2022

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As always, I'll try to make a short application, although some of my older applications have more details. If people feel these are unhelpfully short, or have questions, please let me know (I guess the Discussion page here would do, or mail me at Isode).

I'm Kevin Smith, I work at Isode Ltd. where I'm responsible for the XMPP server and client (Swift) activities. My personal addresses are for email, and for XMPP, but as XMPP software is my job these days I mostly use my for XSF things.

Within the XSF I've been a member for a long time, done 11 years of Council and Chaired it for most of that. I've been the GSoC admin for the majority of years we've participated (I think that's still true, but we're approaching the point it's not), I was infrastructure team lead for a long time, I'm nominally on the Editor team (but haven't done much recently) and I often chair the Brussels Summits. I also generally poke my nose into the rest of the XSF's business and try to provide context for decisions that most members are fortunate enough to be young enough not to have been around for, where I remember.

My XMPP history is that I ran the Psi project for a number of years, run the Swift project, run the M-Link project, co-wrote the O'Reilly XMPP book, and have done various smaller things like SleekXMPP contributions, bots, migration tools etc. I've written XEPs. I've bled, I've laughed, I've cried.

My current focus is getting the user stuff right, working out how MIX, PAM, References, Unread sync etc. come together to make a compelling UX in a way that works for both server devs and client devs. "XMPP 2.0", if you like. In this I believe we have to maintain backwards compatibility, but have to accept that we won't be able to maintain forward compatibility for all things - that is, we won't be able to provide all the features we want in a way that old servers and clients will get the full benefit without upgrading. I'm also intruigued by the idea of doing something akin to (but not, probably, the same as) JMAP for XMPP, and additionally want to find ways to get our client connection story to be a lot less heavy than it currently is (including initial setup, not purely by making resumption work reliably).

I'm applying because I've been contributing to the XSF for a long time and want to continue doing so.