Colin Robbins (software engineer)

Colin Robbins (born 1964) is a network protocol and software engineer credited for research work in distributed directory systems and a co-inventor of LDAP. Educated at Alleyn's School, he holds a BSc, Computer Science & Electronic Engineering, with first class honours,[citation needed] from University College London.

Robbins developed the Quipu[1] directory part of the ISO Development Environment (ISODE) while a research assistant at UCL working for Peter Kirstein, he became custodian of ISODE from Marshall Rose in 1991. Quipu was used to prototype DIXIE and DASED, which merged to invent LDAP of which Robbins wrote the String Representation of Standard Attribute Syntaxes[2] element defined in RFCs 1448[3] and 1778[4] published by the IETF. Robbins wrote part 3 of Steve Kille's book Implementing X.400 and X.500: the PP and QUIPU Systems.[5]

Robbins was the Technical Architect and Vice-Chairman[6] of the Europe-wide Nameflow Paradise directory,[7] the world’s largest distributed deployment of X.500. He also led the Electronic Messaging Association's (EMA) world directory challenge[8] for which he received the EMA's distinguished service award (1997),[citation needed] and led the European Electronic Messaging Association (EEMA) Security Challenge[9] for which Robbins was awarded EEMA personality of the year (1998).[10]

Robbins is chartered by the Institute of Directors,[11] serving of the Boards of Nexor and the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC),[12] as a sponsor member.[13] He was co-chair of the Information Assurance Collaboration Group (IACG) 2012-2014. He is Water Polo coach and vice-chair at Nottingham Leander Swimming Club.


  1. ^ Jennings, Barbara. "Building an X.500 Directory Service in the US (Section 4)". IETF. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  2. ^ Howes, Tim. "The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol: X.500 Lite" (PDF). OpenLDAP.
  3. ^ "RFC 1488". IETF. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  4. ^ "RFC 1778". IETF. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  5. ^ Implementing X.400 and X.500 the PP and QUIPU systems. Artech House Publishers. 1994. ISBN 9780890065648.
  6. ^ "NameFLOW Paradise meeting minutes" (PDF). Dante. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Nameflow Paradise Annual Report" (PDF). Dante. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. ^ "EMA Directory Challenge '97" (PDF). EMA. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  9. ^ "EEMA Security Challenge". EEMA. Archived from the original on 11 July 1997.
  10. ^ "EEMA Names Prize Winners in Annual Electronic Commerce Awards". Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 9 February 1999. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  11. ^ "List of Chartered Directors". IoD. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  12. ^ "IAAC".
  13. ^ "IACG Board". Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2013.

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