“Fedora creates an innovative platform that lights up hardware, clouds, and containers for software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users.”

I know that creating mission statements is hard, but this wording is hard to understand.  ‘platform that lights up’ didn’t make sense.  And where am I in this mission?  Am I a community member building tailored solutions?  Or am I very last, a user?  This wording order makes it sound like users ask bespoke coders for solutions with Fedora lighting up hardware.

I think the mission statement and the explanation about tailored solutions emphasizes distance between Fedora and users.  

Fedora → platform → hardware → developers → tailored solutions → users

Is this the model that we want?  Is this Fedora’s mission?  I don’t think Fedora should distance itself from users, as users become community, become developers.  What is the measure of success for this mission statement?  What initiatives will be launched in support of this mission?  

I think the Fedora model and the mission statement should be reordered.  This more closely matches the needs expressed in the statement.

Fedora → platform → community → solutions → hardware 

**Fedora creates an innovative platform for users, community members and software developers to build tailored solutions that lights up hardware, containers and clouds.**

I believe open-source should be part of the mission and solutions shouldn’t be limited to tailored.

**Fedora creates an innovative open platform for users, community members and software developers to build solutions that lights up hardware, containers and clouds.**

This isn’t to make the language tighter, it is to clarify that Fedora is for users.  The discussions about “for software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users”, seems to indicate that Fedora isn’t for users, just tailored solution builders.  "Their users" sounds offensive to me like "those people".  I hope that isn’t the case, but this mission statement could lead to a closed source developer focused platform.


Jeff Sandys

On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 6:55 AM, Matthew Miller <mattdm@fedoraproject.org> wrote:

Way back in 2003, the original Fedora Project mission statement¹ was
straightforward — “to work with the Linux community to build a
complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from open
source software.” This has some virtue: it's clear and concrete, and
it encodes the values of community and open source. But, it's also
rather small; arguably this was _already done_, so, you know, “good
job everyone” — backslapping ensues, nothing more needed, right?

After 6½ years, the Fedora Board (the precursor to our current Fedora
Council) decided it was time for a refresh, and put a lot of work
into coming up with our current mission² (as well as a vision and
objectives). That mission is “to lead the advancement of free and
open source software and content as a collaborative community.”

This has many virtues too — it's ambitious, and again keeps those key
values front and center. But, it's also very broad. If we were to
start a project with a clean slate today to do what the mission says,
I don't think we'd even _think_ of creating a Linux distro. There are
plenty of other activities that could consume an entire large
pro-free-and-open-source project.

When we started Fedora.next, we decided to work underneath the
mission as it stood. This has worked out well enough, but we're
coming up to what feels like the limit. This is clear in the
"Budget.next" process — it's one thing to say that spending is to be
determined in public based on clear objectives and measurable
results, but for it to really work, those objectives need to be
attached to a goal with a more clear scope.

It's now been another 6½ years, and it’s the perfect time to revisit
the mission — to look at who we are, what we do well, what we really
want to do, what we say we do but actually don't, and so on.

Our Thinking

At our in-person activity days at the end of March, the Fedora
Council did just that. We spent some time discussing those questions
and worked on lists of strengths, weaknesses, threats, and
opportunities. We talked about the Fedora Foundations as well, and
agreed that we do want to keep these as statements of our core
values. We wanted something which would answer:

  * What do we do?

  * How do we do it?

  * Who do we do it for?

  * and, what unique value do we bring?

After a long and productive working discussion, we decided to break
for dinner, and come back the next morning to actually draft a new
statement to bring to the community for discussion, adjustment, and
approval. Brian scribbled down a quick idea in the evening, and in
the morning we started bright and early at adding to, subtracting
from, rewording, deconstructing, and reconstructing, until we came up
with something that everyone on the Council felt good about.

The New Mission Draft

So, here it is:

  Fedora creates an innovative platform that lights up hardware,
  clouds, and containers for software developers and community
  members to build tailored solutions for their users.

Let's Break It Down

We decided to not write a new vision statement at this point. The
Four Foundations³ — Freedom, Friends, Features, First — both state
our core values and illustrate our overall goals and objectives.
However, we do want to make sure that some of the various parts of
the mission are explained.

  * Creates an innovative platform — at the operating system level,
    we don’t just integrate.We do new things.  This is what makes
    us a platform and not just a distribution. And, “innovative” is
    just a buzzword. Current examples include solving the “too fast
    / too slow” problem with Modularity, exploring ostree for
    delivery and updates, and the Layered Image Build Service,
    where containers become a first-class part of the OS.

  - Lights up hardware, clouds, and containers — We want to be
    specific about a primary focus as an enablement layer for
    environments people want to use.

  - For software developers to build tailored solutions for their
    users — this includes both upstream software developers and
    downstream communities who want to build on what we create.

  - For community members to build tailored solutions for their
    users — Fedora isn’t just the toolkit. Many of our contributors
    are here to collaborate to create solutions for specific user
    problems, ranging from Fedora Workstation to Fedora Robotics
    Suite. We have lots of ways to do this within the project, from
    Editions to Spins and Labs to the upcoming Fedora Playground
    concept. The core emphasis, though, is on enabling this

Next Steps

We really hope our proposed mission statement makes sense to all of
you and tries to capture what we want to be for the next three to
five years. We would be very interested in feedback from the
community, not just in how to make the language tighter but, truly,
on the goals of the project and how we can better capture the ethos
of Fedora.


1. http://web.archive.org/web/20031008035915/http://fedora.redhat.com/about/
2. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Overview#Our_Mission
3. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Foundations

Matthew Miller
Fedora Project Leader
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