Kevin Smith for Council 2006

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History

I've been involved with Jabber as a developer through Psi since 2002, joining the JSF members sometime later, I've been the project leader for Psi since 2004, and in 2006 participated in the Summer of Code program.

JEP Involvements

My involvement with JEP creation has mostly been through discussion on the standards-jig and interests lists (such as the jingle and whiteboarding lists), although I'm author of a metacontacts JEP which is pending submission. My largest impact on JEPs has probably been through my long discussions with PSA which brought about SPPS, which later became PEP; my desire for the PEP protocol came from being on the front-line through being the current leader of the Psi project, seeing what the users of XMPP clients were crying for and as a developer seeing a need in protocol to back up the features they wanted.

Software Involvements

I've been contributing code to the Psi Client for several years, and, subsequent to Justin Karnege's abdication in Autumn 2004, have been `project leader'. My long-term involvement in one of the longest-running clients, has given me insight into many of the issues surrounding XMPP/Jabber with the result that I believe I have things I can bring to the protocol, through council.

Suitability

I believe that my experience with XMPP/Jabber on Psi and on standards-jig, coupled with my Computer Science education at degree level, distributed system experience for my degree project and research/problem solving skills from my PhD would serve me well as a council member. From my experience with the requests and issues of users of XMPP through Psi and similar experience from the code side as well as my desires to use XMPP for more than `just IM' (I had a system set up at work for notifying me over XMPP when experimental runs had finished etc) I'm in a reasonable position to represent the interests of several groups. Particularly, I am aware of the places which protocol is currently less than ideal for the current needs of users and this is of the most interest to me, although I also appreciate the need for developing future protocols which have not yet necessarily found their application.

Intentions

The key areas that I think need addressing over the next 12 months (and beyond) are

  • PEP - I'd like to see this come into widespread use, although PSA and others have already done sterling work getting this going, and by the time new council is voted in it's likely to be mostly a `done deal'
  • Reliability - This is an area I think we (urgently) need to address and somewhere we lag behind other protocols; that messages can currently disappear into the black hole of the internet is something I'd like to work hard on preventing. I'm also keen to keep a seperation between reliability and accountability (providing reliability always and accountability where required); reliability means that your messages will reach their destination, accountability that you know when the other user has recieved them.
  • Getting usable e2e encryption into public use (this seems to be a common theme among council applicants, so something should be achievable in the next cycle).

Motivation

I'd like to join the council this year because I'd like to see XMPP's strong position grow stronger and I believe I have experience and ideas to help assist the other council members in this.

Kevin Smith

Outside the Jabber world, here are some facts about me:

  • Studied percussion for 9 years, in a bunch of ensembles, playing at locations from the Royal Festival Hall (London) in the finals of the Festival of Music for Youth (twice), Disney (Paris) to the Coity Primary School Summer Fete¬†;)
  • Self-taught guitarist (around 7 years); I've performed publically on guitar also.
  • I had a brief phase as a bass guitarist in gigs.
  • I've helped run a Cub Scout pack.
  • At various times I've enjoyed rock-climbing and hiking on a weekly basis.
  • I've been training in the martial art TaeKwon-Do for five years, and currently hold the highest colour belt grade (the precursor to black belt).
  • Myself and two friends ran a web design company for a few years while I was at University.
  • I have a (1st class honours) BSc in Computer Science from the University of Exeter.
  • I'm weeks from the end of a PhD in Computer Science (Simulated Annealing Techniques for Multi-Objective Evolutionary Optimisation)
  • I like pizza.

Contact

XMPP: kevdadrum@jabber.ex.ac.uk

If necessary I can be reached at mailto:kismith@psi-im.org but who'd use email over Jabber? ;)

External CV

For those interested, a somewhat fuller, although incomplete, CV is available at [[1]].