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

Martin Graesslin mgraesslin at kde.org
Fri Feb 12 06:56:34 UTC 2016

On Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:46:46 PM CET Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> On Thursday, February 11, 2016 01:22:02 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> > On Mittwoch, 10. Februar 2016 21:42:31 CET Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> ...
> > A vision statement alone doesn't do much, either. A mission is needed to
> > turn vision into strategy.
> Yes. :-)
> > > 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- land.
> > 
> > The discussions cannot be avoided (though I believe they don't have to be
> > ugly!), but it seems to me that the two "camps" are much closer in their
> > ultimate goal than they are in what they see as the best strategy to
> > achieve it.
> > So what is bad about first declaring what we agree on and then debate on
> > the level where we actually disagree?
> The vision may leave quite a bit of room for interpretation, especially
> since it will be short. Some may understand one thing, some may understand
> another thing. This will lead to more conflicts later on due to
> misunderstandings (like "we cannot put this into the mission because it
> contradicts the vision, which we already agreed on.")
> As a real example, there are people who understand "The project stays true
> to established practices common to similar KDE projects" from the manifesto
> as "if it has a GUI, the GUI is done with Qt".
> The "inclusive" draft explicitely does not put any limits to
> technologies/libraries. One group can with good right say "this contradicts
> the manifesto !", while another group can with similar good rights say "gtk
> is perfectly fine, since the manifesto doesn't mention Qt !".
> I think such conflicts could be reduced if it was worded more clearly, or if
> vision+mission are created together.

The conflict doesn't get reduced by that, it just means that one side will 
"win". The conflict needs to be solved by finding a compromise. If we want to 
prevent a community split we should make sure to not alienate community 

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