Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shaping the Future

Discussing leadership and quite possibly some of the biggest changes to Ubuntu Studio in a single release cycle, in more than 144 characters but in less than or equal to one blog post.

Take Me To Your Leader
Last night was an unusual night on #ubuntustudio-devel.  Usually the channel is pretty quite but we had continuing discourse for approximately seven hours.

Several times during the conversations Cory intimated that I should or was leading the project.  Other times some indirectly referred to me as the "leader".

It reached a climax when Troy asked who _was_ the lead and I said that I had volunteered as acting lead since no one else had stepped up.  This was the first time to make such a statement in a related public forum.

Aside from a few ominous statements ("Then the project's fat rests in your hands") that sprinkled the remainder of the discussion, the announcement seemed to be palatably received.

I don't feel much of a leader at the moment as I currently do not have a definitive "vision" of what the project should be, although I do not feel daunted or intimidated by the absence.

Originally I had considered that I might perform as a steward, just providing stability, organization, and direction, until someone more appropriate was identified.

Now, however, I do not think this is probable, so if no one were to object I would accept the responsibility of Project Lead for the indeterminate future.

When Seeing is More Than "Vision"
Although the discussion started with updating the website, Troy and Emmet directed the topic into trying to define Ubuntu Studio, its mission statement, and its audience.

It quickly became obvious none of these had been defined before.

One thing that *did* become obvious was that we probably would reduce the scope of the project.  This might be important, so I'll say it again: we probably would reduce the scope of the project.

However, all this is speculative discussion without basis until we clearly and definitively define our audience, their needs, and our goals to meet those needs.

But, it is possible this could be a very, very pivotal period in Ubuntu Studio's history.

Who knows, next release we might have an stripped down audio-centric distribution, with extremely limited video/graphical applications, that fits onto a CD, and is distributed as a LiveCD!  Oh, and Pulse Audio completed removed and using JACK as the sole sound server which starts automatically when logging in.  And the coup de grace would be installing Network Manager as so many users have asked.

There you go, this could be the next version of Ubuntu Studio.  Or not.
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