In my last blog post I asked what the vision of Kubuntu might be, some of you confused roadmap, mission and vision, but still mostly very very very useful comments. I shall thank you a lot 🙂
Meanwhile I was thinking about my own vision of Kubuntu. It is actually a very simple one:
«I want to go to a public library and hear the Kubuntu startup sound. Also when I am sitting at the train station in Graz, I want people to stop by and ask for an autograph»
Obviously the latter is pretty selfish and not useful at all but I just happened to be in that sitution recently (well, without the autophraphing). Anyway. I think the first sentence pretty much sums up what I want Kubuntu to be… THE Linux… no… THE OS… like when you go to a public library the chances are pretty good that you get to hear an insanely loud Windows startup sound. I would like Kubuntu to be responsible for that annoyance in a usually quite calm environment. So that is a vision, or rather, my vision, though I hope we get to share that vision sooner or later.
To help general understading along a bit: a vision is a, for the better part, quite specfic image (an imaginative one) of what a specific future should be looking like. Even though a vision might be shared, usually the precise perception of that written description might look different from contributor to contributor. Oh well, enough of that theory.
Since I started this, I probably need to finish explaining stuff though. A mission, is a more precise and probably more objective view of the vision. Simply put is the mission a list of things that ought to happen one way or another in order to make the vision become reality. Here comes a general rule of all this fancy management junk: the more precise stuff is written down, the more likely it is to follow, the more likely it is to implement (like with any good plan really). The mission of Kubuntu must obviously somehow state that Kubuntu must become better than all competitors. But that is only a small and considerable unuseful statement. If we want to be successfull we first need to study our surrounding. Where can we be better than the competition and how? How can KDE help us with that? How can we help KDE? (most obviously, upstreamDistro is a powerful connection that needs to be established an maintained at all costs) What could prevent us from archiving our target?… I suppose you understand what I mean. So I’d like everyone reading this to think a bit about it and post a comment stating the results of that thinking. Within the next couple of weeks Kubuntu should be establishing a mission paper that can be used as gernal guidance on decisions of large impact.
Once we have created a mission, we can continue with the really ugly stuff. The roadmap. If the devil created anything at all, it was the concept of roadmapping. The thing with roadmaps is, they usually require a considerable amount of work to keep them updated, you will almost never be able to meet a predefined milestone in exactly the anticipated condition and it is impossible to understand what larger impact the map will have. Right, the latter is why the mission gets created first :). I suppose one could say that the roadmap is a short-term TODO list (short compared to the vision anyway). One of the comments in my previous post suggested that Kubuntu is trying to fight all the dragons at once, and at the same time brings new ones to life. I must agree, a lot, with this statement. Actually I think this is mostly because there is not much planning going on. Of course some of the Kubuntu devs meet once every development cycle at the Ubuntu Developer Summit to discuss what fancy stuff ought to be done that cycle, but really, if you’d ask a Kubuntu dev what is going to happen in dev-cycle+1 you probably won’t get a good answer (especially not one that has larger impact than that particular dev). A roadmap is exactly what one can do about this situation. So getting one of those, is also on my TODO, still far away though, so no need to blog about it :P.