The openSUSE Factory distribution is our permanent development distribution. Currently used to develop openSUSE 11.2. We want to make the factory distribution better usable for everybody to get a better testing for next release.
One of the complaints we received in the last years is that the huge amount of newly built packages makes it hard for people to keep their system up to date, simply due to the time needed for downloading and installing the packages.
We have switched now to a new mechanism, which will reduce the number of packages which get published significantly.
To explain the new mechanism, we should look at the old concepts to build a distribution: