Surevine & Buddycloud

Surevine have been innovating and developing on the Buddycloud stack, and have made significant contributions back to the project. The Buddycloud core has since been updated to reflect the security requirements that their customers required, for the benefit of the wider community of users.

The Surevine engineer responsible for this is Lloyd Watkin. Here's what he had to say.

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Lloyd Watkin, I work at Surevine as a Software Engineer.


What was your background in Buddycloud before starting?

None at all, in all honesty. When I started with Surevine our CTO sat me down in front of Buddycloud asked me to learn about it and start hacking on a Java port of the existing server.

So you hacked on Buddycloud?

Yes, contributions from Surevine to the Buddycloud project range from work on the web client, HTTP API server, node.js server, notification system, media server, and documentation. Our biggest contribution however, is the creation of a java-based version of the main server component.

We also run our own federating Buddycloud site which the Surevine team uses for internal communication.

After working with Buddycloud, how's it different?

For me, it's really important to have a choice of provider and the flexibility to modify software. Buddycloud is a decentralised system; it’s not controlled by any one company / person / setup. Should one provider shut down or change their terms and conditions, I'm free to move my data to a new provider. The flexibility means I'll never have a "I hate the new facebook UI" moment: I can make the changes I want without falling foul of arbitrary API restrictions.

When you aren't hacking on Buddycloud, what do you do?

I created and run an open source corkboard service called and the XMPP-FTW project; a bunch of Github Services that do neat things on XMPP and Buddycloud when you commit code. I’m also involved with Massah, a nodejs automated browser testing library, and I promote open standards as a member of XMPP Standards Foundation and help organise a UK based XMPP meetup.

XMPP-FTW? What kind of problems does that solve?

XMPP-FTW helps Javascript developers build real-time messaging.

Put simply, web developers don't like working with XML. XMPP-FTW solves this by translating to/from JSON on the server-side (where it can be done quickly). It exposes as much of XMPP as possible (i.e. it doesn't dumb things down) so its not a high level library; also, because it handles the connection to the XMPP server, developers just need to install an XMPP server and not worry about setting up other things like BOSH or websocket plugins.

“Buddycloud solves a large number of problems for a large number of developers. If you need communications, be it person to person, m2m, or a mix with realtime updates (as well as "after the fact") data gathering, then Buddycloud is an interesting technology to look at.”

Lloyd, Software Engineer at Surevine.

To learn more about Surevine's secure collaboration technology development contact Surevine.

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