Desktop Proposal

Colin Walters walters at
Fri Oct 16 05:52:17 UTC 2009

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 5:30 PM, Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger at> wrote:
> So back to putting the fact that we build an opensource OS into the mission
> statement -- Sure we do create an opensource OS... but that's nothing
> special.  What sets us apart on the OS front is that we create it from the
> latest software and we are serious about contributing to upstream projects.
> What sets us apart on the non-OS front is that we are working on enabling
> non-coders and people who could care less about Fedora the OS to make
> valuable contributions to us and the open source community as a whole.

You argue this view well, and I see a lot of merit in it.  Now, the
model I generally look at for a lot of things is Mozilla, which I
think is the best example of a project, a product, and a community.
Here's an excerpt from an interview with Mitchell Baker (Mozilla
foundation chair):

"To its many supporters, Firefox is more than just software. It is
also a mission: to keep the web free for everyone, and to ensure that
no company can tilt the web to its advantage. To quote Ms. Baker, “We
succeeded because more people got engaged, helped us build a better
product, and helped us get the product into the hands of people. We
succeeded because of the mission.” Mozilla Firefox is about acommunity
of people coming together to make a contribution to make their mark on
the world — if in a ubiquitous yet often overlooked area such as the
internet — and succeeding. It has helped the internet move forward by
showing the world that browsers do matter.But more importantly, it is
an affirmation: that even as common people, we do have the power to
change the way things are if we worked together.The fact that we use
Firefox is a testament to that truth."

(found here:

But I think the inverse of this is also true - a mission, no matter
how well thought of or noble, isn't very useful without a strong
unifying *thing* (there can be multiple things maybe, but not 15,131
of them).

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