Dave Cridland for Council 2009

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Who Am I?

I'm Dave Cridland. I've been working in, on, around, and with Internet Messaging technologies of various sorts since 1993, a year worryingly close to the birth of some of the prominent members of our community. I'm "XMPP Team Lead" at Isode Ltd, a company which does not only XMPP, but also LDAP, IMAP, SMTP, X.400 and X.500.

My name is on 5 RFCs (and two drafts), and one XEP, although I've been involved to greater or lesser degrees with rather more than that.

I've served on the XMPP Council now for two years. I'd like you to make that three.

XMPP Council

What's it for?

The XMPP Council is meant to do two things. First, we're meant to be the technical leadership of the XSF, and secondly we get to have meetings - albeit remote ones, and therefore lacking in tea and biscuits - where we approve, and in some cases veto, various XEPs and changes to them.

It's a surprisingly hard job, and one that can suffer from a kind of collective lethargy - it's pretty easy to see that the level of list traffic on the standards list has fallen over the summer, as the Council's term comes to an end.

The first part of the job is motivational, largely - we're there to encourage people into making suggestions, producing work, and developing exciting new technologies.

The second part is almost the opposite - in some respects, you can measure the worth of a Council member by how many times they're rejected changes. Of course, a council member that routinely rejects everything is just as bad as one who accepts everything blindly, so it's not a measure to be taken to extremes.

Who should be on the Council?

I think we need a constant flow of new blood onto the Council, to avoid the collective lethargy I describe above, and bring new, fresh, insight into the problems the Council faces.

Aside from that, I'd urge people to consider the collective knowledge the Council has. The last session had two server developers, a specification expert, a service developer, and a client developer. We had an expert in pubsub, various expertise in running large servers and services, and we had expertise in protocols outside of XMPP, too. It was a pretty good mix, on the face of it.

This was also the Council that put Jingle through to Draft, and note the complete absence of any VOIP expertise - not only did we have to review the Jingle specs very carefully, we had to rely enormously on discussions with various VOIP and Jingle experts, too. It's clear from that that Council members need to be able to reach out to the expertise within the community at times, especially as no Council members will ever have expertise in every field.

We need people on the Council able to encourage participation both in the development of XMPP, and in its standards process, too.

Council members also need to be able to command sufficient respect within the XMPP community as a whole, and the wider world, to have the XSF taken seriously, as well as getting sufficient respect and simply get on well with their fellow members, otherwise it'd be unworkable.

Finally, of course, Council members need to be able to commit to the time this job takes.

So how does that leave me?

I'm obviously not new blood - but after consideration, I decided that on balance, I'll stand again. You can take it from this that I, at least, feel that I'm worth having on the Council.

I generally get on with people, and I certainly can't say I dislike anyone on the past Council - in fact, I get on with them all pretty well, as I do with all the candidates I've seen at the time of writing.

I feel the balance of my expertise is still useful to the Council, and I feel comfortable asking others, both in the XMPP community and Isode - to lend their expertise.

I try to encourage participation in a number of ways:

  • I hang about in jdev from time to time, and discuss various things that come up. Similarly, I try to pull people in from identi.ca et al, probably with less success.
  • I encourage people to turn up to Council meetings, post on the mailing list, and suchlike. The increased attendance has, in my opinion, been a real blessing.
  • I even encourage people to stand for Board and Council. I probably shouldn't, as they're competition.

I can't really judge whether anyone respects me in the slightest. I don't think people should, really, take me all that seriously, most of the time, but I hope the odd time I do decide to be serious does at least strike a chord with most people. I'm not an egomaniac - despite every reason to be. ;-)

The time I spend on Council activity - reviewing documents, talking to people, etc - is accepted as part of my work by Isode, and although they don't tell me what to say (I wouldn't work for anyone who tried that) they do support and encourage my work. I can, and have, drawn on the expertise of my colleagues at Isode, some of whom are XSF members too, others are IETF participants, and others still are involved with the ongoing development of X.500 (including X.509).

In Summary

  • I am Dave.
  • Vote to retain me on the Council.
  • But think seriously about who you're voting for.