Re: Mission Statement

Three points!

First, it's been suggested that OPW falls outside the Foundation
charter, and therefore falls outside of GNOME's general mission. The
fact that the charter doesn't reflect GNOME's current mission is
entirely unsurprising - it is an ancient, largely historical document
(last updated 14 years ago!) More than that, the charter invokes a
simplistic definition of GNOME's mission. The only thing it says on
the matter is "to create a computing platform for use by the general
public that is completely free software."

GNOME is much more than this. It *has* to be much more than this.
Being a Free Software desktop is hardly a unique claim and, if we
can't say why we are different, and why we matter, we might as well
shut up shop. Thankfully, our project does have a unique and
compelling mission. We do more than simply create a Free Desktop, in
two significant ways:

1. We create our software as part of an independent and diverse
community, and we create it for everyone. We don't just create free
software - we do it in a way that reflects our ambition to make the
world a better place.

2. We are deeply interconnected with, and embedded in, the wider Free
Software ecosystem. We don't draw a line at, and decide
that's all we're interested in. GNOME is an integrating and
progressive force within Free Software. We played a major role in
establishing We are leading the way in a variety of
projects, such as Wayland and (I hope) application sandboxing.

Yes, the charter says nothing about these things (largely because it
says very little about GNOME's mission in general), but they are a key
part of how we define ourselves, and OPW is consistent with them.
Again, as a member of the Engagement Team, OPW has been extremely
positive in enabling us to tell a compelling story about the GNOME

Second, OPW has been beneficial for GNOME. It has raised our profile
and further established our role as leaders in the Free Software
world. Our sponsors are enthusiastic about OPW (conversely, moving OPW
out of GNOME would give them one less reason to support us).

Third, OPW will need to stand on its own two feet irrespective of
which organisation hosts it. Assuming that OPW can do this - and I
think we probably all want it to - then what do we gain by moving it
out to another organisation? All that would happen is that that
organisation would get the benefits that we have been enjoying.


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