Kevin Smith Application 2008

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My name is Kevin Smith and I'm applying to retain my XSF membership. The template for this re-app is extracted from my application from last year, which in turn was extracted from the previous year, which was in turn extracted from Johannes Wagener's 2005 page so should hopefully cover all pertinent points; if it doesn't, please contact me over xmpp ( and I'll ammend this page. My email's required for my app, but I'd rather people contacted me over jabber. If you must use email, my domain is, and my user part kevin.


I'm in my mid-twenties, currently living in Exeter, UK. Having now finished my PhD at the University of Exeter, which was a study into Simulated Annealing Techniques for Multi-Objective Optimisation, I'm now working with the University and the ai Corporation researching credit card fraud detection techniques. My BSc degree is in Computer Science (1st class honours), from the same institution. I've been an XSF member since 2005, and a council member since 2006.

Jabber/XMPP Projects


  • I'm the project leader for the Psi client (Justin Karneges handed over to me when he abdicated in late 2004). Despite being one of the long-standing clients, Psi's still doing well and getting better.
  • I develop the [SleekBot], which is a bot for running in MUCs - it's active in the jabber and jdev mucs on, as well as Psi's muc.
  • My [MaybeLater] task manager system accepts new tasks through an XMPP bot.
  • I sometimes contribute to the [SleekXMPP] Python XMPP library.
  • I use other unreleased snippets for handy tasks like alerting me when my computational simulations complete.

XMPP Protocol

I'm a co-author on the PEP, metacontacts, and thread best practises XEPs, and as a member of the XSF council am reading all the XEPs that go through.

XMPP documentation

As leader of the Psi project, I've obviously contributed to the documentation at Psi Wiki.

Plans for the future

As well as continuing (and hopefully expanding on) my work with Psi, I intend to continue contributing to XEPs directly and through council.

Jabber - Why I like it

I came to Jabber because I was on Linux and didn't like the thought of using clients which had to play catch-up to the commercial networks; Jabber's open standard felt cleaner. Also, as a geek, helping to set up the university Jabber server was an appeal. I got drawn into development with Psi and learned more about the protocol and I think this is a standard worth supporting. I've since had a great deal of contact with the communit(y|ies), and met a good bunch of people at FOSDEM and the XMPP Summit over the last couple of years - community is one of the things that differentiates XMPP from most other standards bodies (as everyone keeps saying) and this makes life fun.

Why I'm reapplying

I wish to continue doing what I've been doing so far; work with the Psi client, helping define extensions, contributing to discussion of others' extensions and core protocol and continuing with my work on the XSF Council.