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Among Mageia there's an history of people I know to contribute upstream, build something in common, and answering at best what I need :)

===Mageia won't make it all on its own, needs participation and common involvement===

There has been common initiative like LSB or freedesktop that work more or less (sometimes less than more or perhaps just make it work, in the long term for some of them).

I've seen in FOSDEM that there are common workgroups between distributions, permitting to adhere to common goals and making known each roadmaps
~- adhere to Xorg evolutions, openjdk perspective and many other technical discussions :)
~- for example, opensuse build system or transiflex or translation of packages descriptions
~- many things that can only be achieved upstream
imho, google soc is only a workaround, each distribution could have one objective each year that could benefit the whole community (empowered henceby) that drives enhancements :)
since enhancements benefit us all
~- rather than a systemd in fedora or ubuntu or mandriva or debian sid, each trying its best
~- well, mageia won't make it all on its own :)

===Community driven models and upstream contribution===
The proposition is quite simple, adhere to each group you want to follow:
~- Server
~- Games
~- CAD
~- Scientific
~- user friendly-ness and diversity
~~- with solid-rock solutions - not the latest (but easily available), just working and documented (which takes a lot of time)
~~- making compromise on a short term to provide more functionalities, I'd prefer the above

This requires:
~- documentation, translated, available
~- packaging and stability (testing) for many software, user groups can help when focusing on an identified set of software, the more groups the more software debugged :)
~- confidence on basic functions provided by desktop: hardware, desktop (KDE? GNOME?), ease of use, artwork, support by community Patch Tagging Guidelines, management of patch with upstream

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