[kde-community] Vision, mission and manifesto - what is their definition and purpose?

Thomas Pfeiffer thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Tue Feb 9 22:55:59 UTC 2016

On Dienstag, 9. Februar 2016 23:35:38 CET Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> On Tuesday, February 09, 2016 22:56:32 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> ...
> > That's why I'd suggest that, before discussing the vision any further, we
> > should agree on a definition. It doesn't have to be one with which
> > everybody wholeheartedly agrees, because it's mostly used for
> > communication.
> good idea :-)

Glad we agree here :)

> ...
> > (Note that this is the definition of a vision for an organization or
> > movement. Product visions are very different from that, they can go into
> > much more detail).
> This is maybe an important detail.
> The results of "Evolve KDE" (https://evolve.kde.org/surveyresults.pdf)
> recommend to "Develop a vision, strategy and focus".
> Are we sure we are searching for a vision for the organization (isn't that
> quite close to the manifesto ?) and not for a vision for the products
> created by the organization ?

Good question! Here is a bit of history on this:

In the past, the KDE usability team (namely Björn, Heiko and I) have at least 
twice suggested to create a common vision for KDE's products.
This approach has received mostly negative comments every time, with the 
argument that there is far too much diversity among existing KDE projects to 
define a common product vision which is still useful, and that individual 
product visions would be much more helpful.

We accepted this, and set out to create product visions for the individual 
products instead. Only a few products have created visions so far, but those 
who have, seem to have been quite happy with theirs. I'd even say that there 
is a common feeling now that having a product vision is important for every 

The usability team (and the VDG has a whole) still has the goal to help as 
many projects as possible to create product visions for themselves.
However, many within KDE still felt that the community as such should rally 
behind a common goal, to give KDE as a whole some sense of purpose and 
This is why we set out to create a community vision, after all. 

> Also, what do you think about the relation between vision and mission ?

When I joined the "vision team", my original proposal was to only define a 
mission, because I felt that visions make more sense for products than for 
However, Lydia convinced me that having a common vision for the future to work 
towards can have more positive effect on a sense of purpose and motivation 
than only defining a strategy, so I agreed to define a vision first and then 
derive the mission from that.

I hope I was able to answer your questions to your satisfaction. If not, feel 
free to follow up ;)


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