Austin Ewens

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Posted on 2019-07-08 by

In one of my previous posts, New Projects, one of the projects mentioned was Tilde Center. Since starting that project, I have gained a lot of new knowledge on distributed systems which has led to a few discoveries. I am still interested in working on a project centered around the core goals of Tilde Center, though I have been realizing that my current approach of making a decentralized public UNIX server is the wrong avenue to achieve my own goals. Rather than making a system that will allow users to login into the other nodes as if they were all the same server, what I feel would really be valuable is a decentralized and federated development platform. While the differences between the two may seem to be semantic, the distinction is an important one to make. The former assumes many ties to some of the underlying properties in a UNIX server (e.g. user authentication systems, shared file storage, etc) while the latter focuses entirely on the logistics of distributed systems. As well, in theory one could potentially use the distributed development platform to create something like Tilde Center, so pursuing this pivot in the project does not mean dropping the concept of a decentralized UNIX sever, but rather this will no longer be the core focus of the project.

With that in mind along with the change in focus to pursuing smaller projects that I mentioned in my Temet Nosce post, I will be terminating the Tilde Center project in favor of what I am now calling the Tildex project. Tildex will be the distributed development platform I described earlier, which will come to live at and its code base here. If anyone wishes to continue developing Tilde Center, I have archived the philosophies of the project from the site's landing page along with the RFC specification that outlines how to go about implementing the basic functionality of a decentralized UNIX server.

This next section is for all of the users of the server, if you are not one you can skip this section. Along with the email I will be sending out, I will outline here that the Tilde Center server will be officially shut down on 2019-07-27 (which will be a Saturday), so be sure to migrate any data on the server you want before that time. As well, if you have not done so already, you can sign up for another free public UNIX server from any list here. They share the same community and IRC server used by Tilde Center, so you will be getting almost the same experience as the one provided by Tilde Center.

One last thing to acknowledge with the discontinuation of the Tilde Center server, since it will be leaving entirely this will also mean that it will neither continue being a .tilde DNS server, one of the IRC round-robin servers, nor a UUCP Tier 1 server (do note that Tilde Center was merely one of many servers in those services so they will all continue to operate after Tilde Center is shut down).

While it has been fun running Tilde Center, I cannot in good faith continue to run it as I provide it the attention that it deserves. I still intend to be a member of the tilde community, the only change being that I will now be doing so as one of its users and open source contributors (as I did before starting Tilde Center). For all who were involved, I thank you for the experience and I hope that my decision to step down from maintaining Tilde Center does not negatively affect any of you.