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Define a Mission for Lubuntu
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With a clear Mission we will have clarity on the goal of Lubuntu. Giving that, we can take priorities and setup strategies to achieve this.

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hmollercl created this task.Nov 5 2018, 5:50 AM
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hmollercl triaged this task as Normal priority.

This would be my first draft for the Mission:
"To be the lightest official ubuntu flavor, with a modern look & feel, easy to use and setup, for the day to day use."

I do think we laid something out in our new direction blog post; maybe we should re-evaluate those goals.

wxl added a comment.Nov 5 2018, 5:32 PM

The whole lightweight thing is a precarious thing.

In the past, we have worried heavily about old machines that not only lack RAM and CPU but have hardware that's unsupported (pae, ppc) or lack modern hardware (USB, DVD). We need to let that go. I'm the greenest guy around when it comes to recycling/reusing old stuff but the problem is we cannot afford to support all that on our own. If we have other flavors supporting it, we should. Otherwise, no. When Xubuntu stops supporting i386, we should, too. Because if (I should say when) something goes wrong, we'll be on our own to fix it. That's not good.

We're not going to be lightweight to the exclusion of functionality. We want a fully featured, modern looking, highly usable system. Once we have those bare minimums, cluttering it up with a bunch of extra crap is what we don't want. That's going to be the thing that sets up apart. LXQt already has this as part of their approach to things.

We should make decisions, however, based on CPU/RAM usage. If we have two options and they're essentially the same, we should go for the one that uses less or that has less libraries (although that's an issue of hard drive space and is less of an issue in my mind). We should also seek any areas where we can reduce CPU/RAM usage by changing configurations. This may be include looking at the LXQt build options and seeing if we can't tweak them.

That said, we're not against being lightweight. In fact, that is most certainly a part of us, given what the L in LXQt stands for. However, just like them, we're not against being modern and functional. We just want everything out of the way.

My suggestion would be something that marries those ideas (possible replacements for "streamlined" include economical, frugal, and thrifty):

Lubuntu is a flavor of Ubuntu focused on providing a modern, fully-functional, usable and streamlined operating system.

I also like something I saw before:

Lubuntu stays out of your way so you can get things done.

Here is the post, so we don't have to look for it.
But basically, the mission has to reflect those goals (or the ones we define). My thoughts is that there is a lot of people who come to lubuntu because of how light it is. That's not only because of people with older computers, but also people with newer computers that wants to get the most of it for specific purposes (gaming, media production, etc...) .
I think that the order of the goals in the post are ok for that communication (i.e. putting qt direction first) because it's a tactical short term communication, but for the mission which is a strategic long-term communication, we should prioritize which is more important for lubuntu in the long run.

Lubuntu will leverage modern, Qt-based technologies and programs to give users a functional yet modular experience.
In collaboration with others, Lubuntu will continue to be a transparent and open distribution which makes it a priority to keep the community informed about the development when possible.
Lubuntu will create and maintain complete documentation which will be included by default in the operating system, and can guide anyone from beginner to expert on how to use Lubuntu to its full potential and contribute to the further development of it.
Lubuntu will keep a light experience by default but enable users to utilize more heavy and featureful components as desired.
Lubuntu will have the ability to be used in any language across the world, and enable contributors to easily translate all components of the operating system.

Sorry for re-opening again things that you already discussed.
I totally agree with the old hardware stuff, my point is with lightweight. Maybe I'm wrong but what I've heard is that most of the people come tu lubuntu because of ith lightweightness, With other words, if xubuntu or kubuntu end up being lighter than lubuntu, lubuntu will lose a lot of users. But if we lose functionally (nm-tray issue for instance) we will lose a lot of users too. I took that for granted in my firs draft, we should include it.

I like those 2 frases:"Lubuntu is a flavor of Ubuntu focused on providing a modern, fully-functional, usable and streamlined operating system." and "Lubuntu stays out of your way so you can get things done."
but modern and fully-functional are more abstract concepts. Can't be easily measured. If we wouldn't have lxqt-runner, qlipper or compton wouldn't it be a fully-functional/modern system?
I also like one phrase that I saw that was like "energy efficient" but, is that measurable?
we have this concepts:

  • modern (better something measurable - it has more than only openbox)
  • fully functional (better something measurable - it's not debian nor arch)
  • usable (easy to use??, - it's not arch, nor debian)
  • streamlined (lightweight? energy efficient?? simple?? - it's not ubuntu)
  • ubuntu flavor.

maybe we should ask the users what are the value(s) they see in lubuntu.

wxl added a comment.Nov 6 2018, 2:54 PM

Not just lightweight

I think the concern about lightweight is that it's an albatross. By carrying that burden, we place particular limitations on ourselves which may conflict with the other more functional goals that we have. This was more @tsimonq2's battle cry than mine, but I do see the validity in it. We need to not pigeonhole ourselves.

Before, I think we were willing to sacrifice too much to keep the very idea of lightweight going on (whether or not it actually was lightweight) and I think we focused far too much on saving disk space, especially on the initial image which I think is an absolute waste of time. It's more important to make sure that we can edit network connections or deal with touchpad settings graphically than it is to make sure we take up the smallest amount of space. This is analogous to the business that, in an attempt to maximize profits, alienates customers through excess fees. That certainly doesn't sound good and it wasn't good for most of our users.

Two goals

The important thing I think we need to express is a two fold goal for Lubuntu that ultimately are two things at odds with one another. In other words we're trying to strike a balance between:

  1. streamlined, simple, lightweight, minimalist
  2. usable, featureful, fully-functional, complete

In the end this is a pragmatic, practical, economical, and frugal approach. If you think about these ideas in terms of how they apply to finances, economics, general resource management, I think it will be clear what I mean.


I suspect we can all agree on those concepts (feel free to tell me I'm wrong). The only question now is how we word it.

I think some people have, for some reason, a problem with lightweight. I see this often in the bicycle industry where people often mistakenly assume that a lightweight component is necessarily fragile. While that is sometimes true, there are also cases where it's not. For example, titanium frame can be incredibly lightweight but more strong and resilient than any other frame material. This is where I think streamlined is a really good choice. To me, it implies making a design decision to make something efficient. It suggests design that limits aerodynamic drag, i.e. it's fast.

The other word I'm not quite as clear on, which is perhaps why I included so many other synonyms to go with it. Practical or functional might be good, but they also sound a bit dry. I'd like something with a little more punch and implication (as with streamlined). Some synonyms, like utilitarian, tend to suggest that it's not pretty (strictly using utilitarian design, pretty provides no actual utility) and we don't want that (although capital-U Utilitarianism seeks to make choices based on those things that maximize happiness). Usable is good, because in addition to being strictly functional or practical, also implies some sort of ease of use (it's literally able to be used). A thing can be functional, but difficult to use.

Further definition

Indeed, I've been told that vision statements should include measurable goals. Qualitative units are measurable, too, though, just as long as they're well defined. So taking the two aforementioned goals, let's further define what these words mean to us:

  1. streamlined
    • solves the minimum of requirements to fulfill the second goal
    • uses the least amount of resources as possible
  2. usable
    • provides all of the software needed for the vast majority of use cases
    • is easy to use and intuitive
    • is productive


I didn't mention modern, but I take that to mean that it more or less is consistent with current design trends. LXDE looks like Windows 95. I'm not sure I want to say we want to look like Windows 10, but maybe current OS X might be a better way of thinking. I don't think we're too far off.

wxl shifted this object from the Restricted Space space to the S1 Public space.Nov 8 2018, 4:48 PM
wxl removed hmollercl as the assignee of this task.

First and foremost, kudos to the team for the strides this project has seen in the past year or so. It has been awesome to witness what has been done so far. With that said, I've been ask to chime in and assist with feedback on this topic. I hope it helps:

Here are some ways that can assist with thinking about mission vs vision framing...many people confuse vision with goals...and goals with mission....regardless on how you define it, it is important everyone has a shared language used to get on the same page wherever possible. Here is how I would go about it.


Mission should answer the question "Who are we and what do we do?" as an organization. Some in the past have included a PURPOSE STATEMENT (which answers another question: Why do we exist and why is it important for society or an industry that we exist) and package it with a mission statement...which is okay I guess...but often adds too much language and dilutes the impact of a short and concise mission statement. Some try to get clever and cheeky with their mission statements, but most fail and doing the mission statement justice by falling into this trap. Lastly, it is an action statement as well. I worked for a leadership development company and their mission was "Building Leaders Who Make A Better World". That was it...Notice, they didn't tell you what their product was....the product was a MEANS to their mission...not the end goal.

Lastly, if you really feel strongly about finding/building a niche, you could add a "target audience qualifier". This could be, "Building a modern and streamlined OS for those who [ Enter qualifier like, "want to get things done", or any description of the target audience you find meaningful].


If you had to answer the question, "Who are we and what do we do?" how would you answer that in a sentence? The reason why concise statements help is because it helps create shared knowledge and organizational culture faster (and easier to remember) for those who get introduced to the project for the first time...esp. when it is a NEW culture you are trying to instill.


Vision answers the question: "Where are we going and what do we want to be known for?" Bonus question is: Who do we want to be heroes to? Meaning, what are some target folks who might not know you now, but if they were to discover you, would be raving fans? Are they the ones we want to be known by down the road?


There are literally hundreds of books regarding favorite is Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. The reason is that he breaks down goals beyond the stereotypical SMART GOALS (which are good!). But there are 2 types of goals...static goals, or I like to call, Core Goals, and Dynamic Goals.

*Core Goals* Goals that are ALWAYS managed and set continuously for improvement. For example, you always want to measure your user growth (just an example folks). How are you setting your goal for the NEXT increase? You go from 100....okay, you hit it...what is the next one? 200? Or 500? Why are why not 500? You should have 2-3 static goals that are measuring an important aspect of growth...and finance. Bonus points if you automate and build in tracking for better forecasting against methods and what worked/didn't work for the next type of goal execution...

*Dynamic Goals* These goals are usually 1 off MAJOR projects or milestones, that once reach, are no longer "reset". They are often DIRECTLY tied to the vision and getting the organization closer to the vision. Some confuse major projects with goals....projects are usually helpful to move closer to the vision...but dynamic goals are GAME CHANGERS....e.g. Switching to lxqt is a MAJOR game changer....redoing a website...that is a project.

*While on projects* Projects could be considered mini-goals or objectives that serve towards a completion to a any type of goal (mini, static, or core).

Final Thoughts

I wouldn't be too worried about describing the CHARACTERISTICS of the project 100% exhaustively and perfectly in the mission statement or vision statement.

That is what a website is for...that is what social media is'll be telling them continuously (hopefully) through your email blasts, social media posts, simon's interviews, website blog, and landing pages/home pages of your website what the project IS and what is IS NOT. Lastly, if there is a dire need to pen down the nature of the project, there are pages like "Core Values" that you can pen down the attributes or "true north" of the project....and describe exactly what is meant by modern and streamline and hash out the exact terminology.

It is important to note that even if you do define these things perfectly, there are those who will 1) Not read it 2) Hear about it but still not care that you said you are no longer making "lightweight" a major priority. So, all you can do is the best you can with marketing/communications...don't conflate these things with the purity/clarity found in mission statements (who you are) and vision statements (where you are going to be).

What is next?

I hope this helps with how we should be discussing can be really overwhelming thinking about all these things at has to be teased out. Starting with Mission and Vision first....from there, a more fruitful discussion could be had with goals and exact wording to describe it.

kc2bez added a subscriber: kc2bez.EditedNov 10 2018, 6:22 PM

I don't have too much I can add beyond what has already been said here. Excellent points have been made by everyone.

This is the statement that went out with the Cosmic beta announcement:

What is Lubuntu?

Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor which uses the Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment (LXQt). The project’s goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional Linux distribution based on a rock-solid Ubuntu base. Lubuntu provides a simple but modern and powerful graphical user interface, and comes with a wide variety of applications so you can browse, email, chat, play, and be productive.

There is one important thing that is missing here. The Lubuntu project doesn't only provide a great Ubuntu based Linux distribution to the community, it supports and services the product as well. Sure, some of the bits are supported by upstream providers but it is all put together here. The support the Lubuntu project provides comes in different formats. The manual, IRC/Telegram, Reddit, Launchpad, Phabricator, and Ask (L)Ubuntu are all examples of that.

My answer to the "who we are and what do we do" question: The Lubuntu project is a collaborative team that provides and supports a graphical desktop computing experience.

I'm really impressed with all the good contributions made in this task.
As per @profetik777 wonderfull explanation, My idea of this task was to have a clear explanation of what Lubuntu culture is so everyone have it clear when contributing. Maybe is not a mission but a purpose statement what we need?

Thanks @hmollercl I agree this is a very important discussion.

I think the first draft can/should come from Simon and/or long-time contributors.

Vision and purpose are good places to start.

Where the project is going informs everything else...the Purpose, aka "THE WHY?"is supposed to help convince/inspire and inform users the unique value it can offer, and/or the void it fills in the market (modern without the bloat).

The mission is probably easier to accomplish once that occurs (e.g. building a modern and streamlined operating system that gets out your way). Once you know where you are going, it may cause some re-arranging of the mission a bit...bc of course, the mission eventually lead us to the vision being realized.

I would recommend a virtual strategy retreat solely dedicated to discussing. I would be happy to facilitate the discussions and activities.