Kevin Smith for Council 2008

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I'm Kevin Smith, I've been serving on council for two years, and I'm reapplying to council to stay for a third.


I've been involved with Jabber as a developer through Psi since 2002, joining the JSF/XSF members sometime later, I've been the project leader for Psi since 2004. In 2006 participated in the Summer of Code program as a student, and in 2007 and 2008 as a mentor. I've served on council for the 2006/2007/2008 period and would like to serve for 2008/2009 :)

XEP Involvements

As a member of council I've been responsible for reviewing all the XEP changes and proposals for the last year (that means I've read quite a lot of protocol). I've been involved, to varying degrees, with the development of several xeps, such as metacontacts, chat threads, PEP, and contribute to the standards list for discussion of xeps throughout their development. My input is informed by my involvement leading one of the large popular client projects and being on the front line of user requests.

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.

I'm also now involved with the Sleek projects, writing code for the SleekBot which sits in several MUCs being useful. It has enough of an emulation layer for Eggdrop bots that we can 'natively' run some of the fun irc scripts (trivia scripts, hangman, 'personality' scripts etc) people enjoy; so far I've got enough to run a healthy number of scripts to some degree and it should be fun to see this develop. It also has a decent selection of native Python plugins.


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, research/problem solving skills from my PhD and review skils as a journal reviewer has/have served 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.


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

  • PEP - Last year I said PEP was a priority, and we're finally seeing deployment in the wild - it'd be good to see more of this.
  • Social networking is the big buzz at the moment - it'll be great to see how everyone wants to fit the parts together.


I'd like to join the council this year because I'd like to see XMPP's strong position grow stronger, with experience and ideas to help assist the other council members in this again. Plus, having attended the meetup in Brussels twice, I'm looking forward to meeting up with everyone again.

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 8 years); I've performed publicly on guitar also.
  • Hoping to learn piano next.
  • I had a brief phase as a bass guitarist in gigs.
  • I've helped run a Cub Scout pack.
  • I've been training in the martial art Tae Kwon-Do for seven years, and hold a first degree 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 have a PhD in Computer Science (Simulated Annealing Techniques for Multi-Objective Evolutionary Optimisation).
  • I'm a professional member of the British Computing Society.
  • For my day job I do R&D into new techniques for detecting credit card fraud.
  • I like pizza.



If necessary I can be reached at but who'd use email instead of Jabber? ;)