Remastering and Trees

April 7, 2009

I think there’s some confusion still about what unity is and how things work. From the start let me tell you it embraces tradition, but not in the common way. It embraces a trend in the Linux world that some encourage with utter joy and some find tiresome. However, by Unity embracing what some would consider a downfall in the Linux world it only becomes stronger. One of the best ways to describe what I mean is by looking at why what some would consider just doing a remaster. In the Unity community though remaster is almost considered a dirty word a better descriptive word now is branch. It’s no longer a remaster, because Unity is built for the purpose of remastering. Unity is the core not a distribution in it’s own right. There will be no public releases of Unity. Unity is the base or core packages and the core community of these branches. Unity is in essence the trunk and roots of the tree. The branches are the distributions that use Unity in their core. Eventually the tree will die if it doesn’t have branches (and leafs, I guess users) and the branches can’t exist without the trunk. Unlike a remaster that bases it self off a already existing traditional distribution, they come and go few really push to much up stream (it’s a choice and some more popular do), they’re bent on their own purpose and rarely excepted into the core development teams of any major distributions. If a remaster goes away big deal the master distribution carries on. Here if a remaster goes away it will be mourned because they are a huge part of the community and of the development team at the same time when a branch is added that’s more resources coming in to the trunk benefiting in some ways everyone. This is very much a new approach to the way things are done. Pretty much it embraces the fact that there are hundreds of distributions for a reason, because everyone has there own niche. However, at the core of these niches a lot of the same work is done, base systems are very similar with only minor tweaks. So instead of having the same work done again and again every time someone tries to tackle there niche and create there own distribution they can use Unity as the core and focus more on satisfying their target linux niche. As they do they are adopted into the development community and can help with improving core packages or supply there own work so that someone else can use it for a similar niche or maybe something completely different. It’s very much a symbiotic relationship.

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