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

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Wed Feb 10 20:42:31 GMT 2016

On Tuesday, February 09, 2016 23:55:59 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> On Dienstag, 9. Februar 2016 23:35:38 CET Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> > 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.

I can remember having read about that somewhere...
As you have seen, the argument that KDE is so diverse has been brought here 
too several times, but from what I know there is still very much in common.

Maybe your KDE product vision effort should be brought into scope again when 
we are talking now here about a vision etc. ? Do you have some pointers ?
> > 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
> communities.
> 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.

That's just Lydias opinion. ;-)
No, seriously, in the last weeks several people contacted me in private email 
and expressed that they are not exactly happy, some even seriously frustrated  
with the strong emphasis on non-technical topics in KDE in the last few years, 
and they would prefer to get some more emphasis on technology and products 
This (obviously) includes me. Maybe this also includes many of the people who 
said "vision, strategy and focus" in the evolve-survey ?

Sorry to be blunt: for me, a catchy one-sentence-vision statement *alone* 
won't impress me, everyone has one today. It won't give me a sense of purpose 
or anything. It's just a catchy phrase. Maybe I'm too old for that.

Anyway, I think vision and mission should be defined together, otherwise we'll 
get ugly discussions once we have decided on the vision, and get into mission-


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