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I got involved in logo-related discussions on the marketing list. A
proper briefing should be at the root of designing a better logo, no
matter if there will be a contest or not. Actually this is true for any
design or development effort.

So what is the most minimal core of a missions statement, what is the
essence, the high level goal just a bit more specific than "make the
world a better place"? ;)

How about:

Mission Statement

Develop an office productivity solution and make it and the project
itself available to and accessible by a majority of humans.

It follows:
- Given our modern needs, there needs to be software
- Internationalization 
- Free Software
- All major platforms
- Interoperability
  - Open, documented interfaces
  - Open, documented file formats
  - Compatibility with other solutions
- Collaboration
  - Meritocracy (there needs to be some hurdle for contributing and
based on ability*effort is best, if you care about the result)


I would usually encourage defining an audience as narrow as possible,
but it seems the widest possible scope is actually defining for this
project. If not, please step forward with definitions of a narrower

The statement is phrased in a way that opens the door for education and
non-software bound approaches.

The word "develop" shall imply optimizing the process and outcome. "Best
possible" or "optimal" would just bloat the statement, as it's clear
that you don't want an just-acceptable solution. However, it's not clear
what optimal or best possible really means in the end.

But what is an "office productivity solution" or an "office (software)
suite", actually? How do you define the scope here? How do you include
enough, but not too much?

You could say: the solution must cover:
- text documents with embedded graphics, from letters to books
- presentations, including animations, embedded sound and video
- doing Calculations, including in a tabular fashion (spreadsheet)
- managing interlinked data and doing queries (relational database)

Long term, both "spreadsheets" and "relational database" might be too
specific, as they don't define the actual needs and goals being
addressed. Seeing spreadsheets and relational database as solutions, can
you define the problems they solve succinctly?

How to rule out (given we really have/want to):
- (full-featured) audio and video editing?
- advanced animation features (think Flash, Synfig)?
- advanced scientific and engineering needs regarding calculations,
including simulations?

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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