[kde-community] Results from the Mission Survey

Sebastian Kügler sebas at kde.org
Fri Sep 30 12:56:13 UTC 2016


On Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:52:36 AM UTC Heiko Tietze wrote:
> 2016-09-28 1:06 GMT+02:00 Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman at gmail.com>:
> > We seemed to be reaching consensus on the updated draft, but at the
> > end of the hour some severe doubts were voiced. The product teams have
> > some visions, and the doubt seemed to be that those visions and
> > mission statements were going to be over-ridden.
> > 
> > So in my opinion, we need to gather those vision and mission
> > statements, and see what the common elements are.
> > 
> > The feeling in the room was (I think) between shock on one side, and a
> > feeling that "my thoughts have finally been given a voice."
> Without any report and no stating the various positions it leaves the
> rest of us in the void. The summary sounds to me like we do neither
> have a common vision anymore nor a mission. And there are no actual
> plans to overcome this unpleasant status. Hopefully I'm wrong

You are wrong. :)

First of all, the vision is entirely untouched by this discussion.

As I was the one voicing concerns over the direction the mission discussion 
took, let me explain. (I only came in late, due to the frameworks bof being 
simultaneously, so kind of felt like the late-coming party-pooper).

The mission discussion, in my opinion, didn't have a lot of focus, this became 
clear by the list of suggested topics in the mission, there was product-
related stuff in there as well as community-related things, and organisational 
bits on top, even going into detail how the user experience should look like. 
I don't think this leads to a mission that can be concrete enough to be 
actually useful and it introduces a top-down culture on KDE's subprojects. If 
you try to apply such a mission to both, Plasma, Kexi and Wiki2Learn, you'll 
quickly see how this falls short. The project are very different in scope, 
target audience and projected user experience. Using what works for Plasma and 
applying that to these projects is not going to work.

On the other hand, I as a Plasma developer want to work based on a vision that 
really fits Plasma, not something that is muddied down by the characteristics 
and needs of Kexi and Wiki2Learn (again, just as an example). Then, a mission 
decided upon by the wider community contradicts KDE's mantra "those who do the 
work decide", or simply put: we decide about Plasma's mission in the Plasma 
team, not on kde-community.

People are rightfully concerned that if we don't put product characteristics 
into the mission, we're going to end up with some generalized thing that isn't 
going to help either. I don't think that's an excuse to create a product 
mission at the wrong level, it should be solved by the individual teams that 
create a product (or perhaps by a group of products, such as KDE-Edu).

For the community, we made the conscious decision to turn KDE into an umbrella 
organisation of products. That means that we should actually follow this 
strategy and not contradicting it by putting too much product management in 
the upper layers of our community.

On the other hand, a mission that actually concentrates on the things that we 
need to solve at a higher level (community governance, culture, 
infrastructure, support, network effects, licensing policies, etc.), a focused 
mission could be really useful, as it provides us a checklist against we can 
check planned activities, priorities and budgets.

We had a phone conference earlier this week with those involved this 
discussion, so the work is still ongoing. It's not a trivial thing to solve, 
but we are making progress.


Sebastian Kügler    •    http://vizZzion.orghttp://www.kde.org

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