Nicolas Cedilnik Application 2022

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  • Name: Nicolas Cedilnik
  • Personal web site: [1]
  • Mail address: [2]
  • JID: [3]
  • Sourcehut: [4]

I am the maintainer of slidge: [5], a framework to develop bridges to other "legacy" (I am quoting XEP-0100 here) IM networks, and 7 "plugins" that use this framework.

About Me

I lived a few different lives: I was a medical student for a few years in the early 2000's, I dropped out of med school to play online poker for another few years, then I finally came back to academia for a PhD in the biophysical modelling/medical image processing field. Since the end of this PhD, I am working as a "researcher/engineer" at inHEART: Besides that, I am vaguely a musician, mostly a "sing and play guitar on the beach"-type musician.

Libre software

After a few failed transitions from Windows, some experiments with Mandrake Linux, I finally started using Debian/Linux as my main OS around 2005. I have since been an advocate for libre software and standards, mostly for political reasons; I believe that:

  • Knowledge should be shared (ie "data must flow").
  • Computers should help us communicate with one another and ease access to knowledge, and not help enslave us to consumerism (or worse).
  • The environmental impact of IT should be minimized and this is incompatible with profit-driven technology development.

Instant messaging

My personal story with instant messaging started with mIRC. I was then amazed when I first saw ICQ, but never had much buddies to chat with there. I was very happy later when MSN Messenger was very popular among teens in my generation in France. Later, I have extensively used Facebook Messenger, because once again, in my social circles this is what was mostly used (these days it's whatsapp instead).

This may seem paradoxical given the political stance I exposed above, but I think that strict purism is not going to help adoption of libre software and standards and instead bubbles us. I do respect FLOSS purists though, and I know that compromises can be a slippery slope.


I think I tried to set up an XMPP server in the 2000's at some point, but was too much of a noob and gave up. Instead, I used pidgin to communicate on proprietary networks.

Around 2015, I gave it a new try and set up a prosody instance on a cheap VPS that has been running since. My initial motivation was to use transports to have some sort of "multi-device pidgin". But in the process I realized that directly using XMPP with the Conversations client was simple enough so that "non-tech" friends and my family could do it, so I started annoying people around me with big words like "mass surveillance", "ad tech", and the likes, and got a few close friends and my family to chat with me using XMPP, either with accounts on my server, or with Quicksy now that I have discovered it, because this "phone number is your username" thing seems to be a killer feature for "normies".


While developing slidge, I believe I identified things that can be improved in the XEPs I read. I am quite shy, so I haven't got to submitting PRs about them yet, but being a XSF member would be a step in this direction.