Kevin Smith Application 2009

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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, and in turn 3 years back, 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 amend this page. My email's: domain, and my user part kevin.


I'm in my mid-twenties, currently living in Exeter, UK. PhD from the University of Exeter, which was a study into Simulated Annealing Techniques for Multi-Objective Optimisation, I'm now working as R&D Manager at a company developing credit card fraud detection systems. 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. I'm chairing the current XSF Council.

Jabber/XMPP Projects


  • I've just stepped down as project leader for the Psi client, after 4 1/2 years.
  • I'm now coding on the new Swift client with Remko.
  • I wrote the SleekMigrate app for migrating between XMPP server software.
  • I developed much of 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 (mostly abandoned) 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 of several XEPs, and as a member of the XSF council am reading all the XEPs that go through.

XMPP documentation

  • Peter, Remko and I have just finished XMPP: The Definitive Guide for O'Reilly, which goes to press today. It's good, really - buy it please.
  • As leader of the Psi project, I've obviously contributed to the documentation at Psi Wiki.

Plans for the future

As well as continuing work on Swift, I intend to continue contributing to XEPs and chairing council.

Jabber - Why I like it

I came to Jabber because I was on Linux and didn't like the thought of using clients that had to play catch-up to the legacy 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 few years - community is one of the things that distinguishes 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; see Swift released, helping define extensions, contributing to discussion of others' extensions and core protocol and continuing with my work on the XSF Council.