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1 peper 1.10 GLEP: 1
2     Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 jer 1.14 Version: $Revision: 1.13 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2011/03/10 20:53:02 $
5 peper 1.10 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6     Status: Active
7     Type: Informational
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 31-May-2003
10 vapier 1.13 Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003, 19-Jan-2008, 05-Jun-2008, 09-Mar-2011
11 peper 1.10
12     Credits
13     =======
15     The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
16     is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
17     [#PEPS]_, especially
18     PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
20     What is a GLEP?
21     ===============
23     GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
24     document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
25     a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
26     specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
28     We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
29     features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
30     documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
31     author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
32     documenting dissenting opinions.
34     Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
35     revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
36     [#CVS]_.
39     Kinds of GLEPs
40     ==============
42     There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
43     or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
44     general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
45     propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
46     Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
47     are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
50     GLEP Work Flow
51     ==============
53     The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
54     GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
55     GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
57     The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
58     recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
59 jer 1.14 more focused the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
60     reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocused or
61     too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focused ones.
62 peper 1.10
63     Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
64     and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
65     forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
66     champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
67     GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
68     injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
69     submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
71     The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
72     proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
73     must be written in GLEP style as described below.
75     If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
76     it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
77     Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
78     draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
79     Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
80     technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
81     compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
83     If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
84     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
85     consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87     The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
88 vapier 1.13 gentoo-dev mailing list (and additionally to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_
89     if they so desire), and marshaling community support for it. As updates are
90     necessary, the GLEP author may check in new versions directly, or forward to
91     a Gentoo developer with commit access.
92 peper 1.10
93     Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
94     implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
95     implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
96     studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
97     the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
99     GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
100     before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
101 vapier 1.13 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
102 peper 1.10 accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
103     mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
104     include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
105     author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
106     should use their discretion here.
108 vapier 1.13 Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the Gentoo Council
109     [#COUNCIL]_ that it is ready for review by way of the gentoo-dev mailing
110     list. GLEPs are then reviewed at a Council meeting where the may be approved
111     or rejected outright, or sent back to the author(s) for revision. This
112     generally should be done a few weeks in advance of the actual review so as to
113     avoid the appearance of "slipping" a GLEP in without proper public review
114     by the Gentoo developer community.
115 peper 1.10
116     For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
117     clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
118     must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
119     must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
120     proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
122     Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
123     When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
124     changed to "Final".
126     A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
127     assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
128     a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
130     A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
131     a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
133     GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
134     obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
136     GLEP work flow is as follows::
138     Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
139     ^
140     +----> Rejected
141     v
142     Deferred
144     Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
145     meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
148     What belongs in a successful GLEP?
149     ==================================
151     Each GLEP should have the following parts:
153     1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
154     GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
155     to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
156     contact info for each author, etc.
158     2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
159     being addressed.
161     3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
162     modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
163     existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
164     the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
165     rejected outright.
167     4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
168     specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
169     functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
170     affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
172     5. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
173     describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
174     were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
175     related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
177     The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
178     discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
180     6. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
181     must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
182     and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
183     with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
184     be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
185     sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
187     7. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
188     completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
189     completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
190     specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
191     code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
193     8. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
194     labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
195     licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
198     GLEP Formating and Template
199     ===========================
201     GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
202     a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
203     called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
204     Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
205     that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
206     functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
207     Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
208     template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
211     GLEP Header Preamble
212     ====================
214     Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
215     must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
216     optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
218     GLEP: <glep number>
219     Title: <glep title>
220     Version: <cvs version string>
221     Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
222     Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
223     * Discussions-To: <email address>
224     Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
225     Final | Replaced>
226     Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
227     * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
228     * Requires: <glep numbers>
229     Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
230     Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
231     * Replaces: <glep number>
232     * Replaced-By: <glep number>
234     The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
235     of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
236     value must be
238     Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
240     if the email address is included, and just
242     Random J. User
244     if the address is not given.
246     If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
247     following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
248     email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
249     harvesters.
251     While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
252     phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
253     the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
254     GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
255     mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
256     be obscured.
258     The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
259     Track.
261     The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
262     should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
263     "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
264     [#ReST]_).
266     The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
267     Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
268     posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
269     14-Aug-2001.
271     GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
272     depends on.
274     GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
275     rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
276     that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
277     header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
280     Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
281     ===============================================
283     How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
284     as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
285     nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
286     probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
287     For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
288     Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
289     author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
290     assign it to the GLEP editors.
292     When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
293     GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
295     GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
296     themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
298     Transferring GLEP Ownership
299     ===========================
301     It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
302     champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
303     of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
304     reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
305     time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
306     has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
307     email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
308     the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
309     that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
311     If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
312     to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
313     <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
314     timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
315     such decisions can't be reversed :).
318     References and Footnotes
319     ========================
321     .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
323     .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
325     .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
327     .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
328     for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
329     tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
330     Linux viewcvs web site at
331     http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
333     .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
334     (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
336     .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
338     .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
340 vapier 1.13 .. [#COUNCIL] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0039.html
341 peper 1.10
342     .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
344     .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
346     .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
348     .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
351     Copyright
352     =========
354     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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