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Re: Difference between blends and remastered systems


On 07/06/2011 09:36 AM, harish badrinath wrote:
> Going by the terminology in use today, what is the difference between
> the (a) debian blends (b) remastered debian system.
> Here debian is the term used to denote debian/ubuntu/projects derived
> from these projects.

I would describe it two ways:


The process for creation of a blend involves starting with a Debian or
derivative repository and creating an image directly from that (live,
install or otherwise) that contains a selection of material from that
repository delivered in such a way that it is usable by a particular
target user for a particular purpose with a minimum of effort.

By contrast, the process of remastering generally involves first
downloading an image produced by the parent distro (live, install or
otherwise,) then tearing it apart and reassembling it with your
customizations applied.


The blends philosophy is to work as closely with the parent distro as
possible. If possible, the project should be done entirely within the
distro as a subproject, containing only material supplied by the parent
distro. We call this a "pure blend".

The remastering philosophy (if it can be called that) seems to be
"whatever works" and involves little or no interaction with the parent
distro. It's a lazy approach used by people who have newly discovered
that they can hack images to make them into custom images to make
something uniquely theirs. Fine, I guess, for quick-and-dirty results,
but not something I would consider supportable in the long run.

I believe the users of a blend are served better than the users of a
remaster because of these advantages:

Technical advantage

A new version of a well-crafted blend ought to be able to be produced at
any time directly from the repository simply by building it; the user
has some assurance that the resulting system remains 'untainted' by
hacking it up with scripts that 'damage' the original system by removing
files from packages, changing files in packages, etc. something that
hurts maintainability / support for such a system.

Community advantage

A blend project aims to leverage support resources from the existing
community to serve some sub-community within it. They accomplish this by
not violating Debian packaging policy, producing something that is
either pure Debian (a "pure blend") or Debian + additional packages,
rather than some frankendistro artlessly stitched together from someone
else's distro with scripts that change things everywhere with no regard
to policy. Thus, normal support channels can be used with a pure blend
since what you end up with is not a derivative at all, but just Debian,
set up and ready to go for whatever you wanted to use it for.


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