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1 g2boojum 1.1 GLEP: 1
2     Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 klieber 1.6 Version: $Revision: 1.5 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2003/07/02 20:05:42 $
5 g2boojum 1.3 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6 g2boojum 1.1 Status: Draft
7     Type: Informational
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 g2boojum 1.4 Created: 31-May-2003
10 g2boojum 1.5 Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003
11 g2boojum 1.1
12    
13     Credits
14     =======
15    
16     The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
17     is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
18     [#PEPS]_, especially
19     PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
20    
21     What is a GLEP?
22     ===============
23    
24     GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
25     document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
26     a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
27     specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
28    
29     We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
30     features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
31     documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
32     author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
33     documenting dissenting opinions.
34    
35     Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
36     revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
37     [#CVS]_.
38    
39    
40     Kinds of GLEPs
41     ==============
42    
43     There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
44     or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
45     general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
46     propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
47     Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
48     are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
49    
50    
51     GLEP Work Flow
52     ==============
53    
54     The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
55 g2boojum 1.5 GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
56 g2boojum 1.1 GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
57    
58     The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
59     recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
60     more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
61     reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
62     too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
63    
64     Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
65     and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
66     forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
67     champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
68     GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
69     injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
70     submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
71    
72 g2boojum 1.5 The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
73 g2boojum 1.1 proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
74     must be written in GLEP style as described below.
75    
76     If the GLEP editor approves, he will assign the GLEP a number, label it
77     as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?)
78     or Informational, give it status "Draft", and
79     create and check-in the initial draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will
80     not unreasonably deny a GLEP. Reasons for denying GLEP status include
81     duplication of effort, being technically unsound, not providing proper
82     motivation or addressing backwards compatibility, or not in keeping
83     with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
84    
85     If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
86     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
87     consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
88    
89     The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
90     gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
91     marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
92     author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
93     email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
94    
95     Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
96     implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
97     implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
98     studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
99     the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
100    
101     GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
102     before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
103     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
104     accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
105     mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
106     include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
107     author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
108     should use their discretion here.
109    
110     Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
111 g2boojum 1.5 it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
112     Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may accept or reject a GLEP outright, or
113 g2boojum 1.1 send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
114     to be acceptable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
115 g2boojum 1.5 has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
116 g2boojum 1.1 may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
117     them a chance to make revisions.
118    
119     For a GLEP to be accepted it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
120     clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
121     must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
122     must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
123     proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
124    
125     Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
126     When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
127     changed to "Final".
128    
129     A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
130     assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
131     a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
132    
133     A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
134     a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
135    
136     GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
137     obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
138    
139     GLEP work flow is as follows::
140    
141     Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
142     ^
143     +----> Rejected
144     v
145     Deferred
146    
147     Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
148     meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
149    
150    
151     What belongs in a successful GLEP?
152     ==================================
153    
154     Each GLEP should have the following parts:
155    
156     1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
157     GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
158     to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
159     contact info for each author, etc.
160    
161     2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
162     being addressed.
163    
164     3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
165 g2boojum 1.5 modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
166 g2boojum 1.1 existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
167     the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
168     rejected outright.
169    
170     4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
171     specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
172     functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
173     affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
174    
175     5. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
176     describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
177     were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
178     related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
179    
180     The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
181     discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
182    
183     6. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
184     must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
185     and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
186     with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
187     be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
188     sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
189    
190     7. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
191     completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
192     completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
193     specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
194     code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
195    
196     8. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
197     labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
198     licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
199    
200    
201     GLEP Formating and Template
202     ===========================
203    
204 g2boojum 1.5 GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
205     a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
206 g2boojum 1.1 called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
207     Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
208     that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
209     functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
210     Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
211     template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
212    
213    
214     GLEP Header Preamble
215     ====================
216    
217     Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
218     must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
219     optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
220    
221     GLEP: <glep number>
222     Title: <glep title>
223     Version: <cvs version string>
224     Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
225     Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
226     * Discussions-To: <email address>
227     Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
228     Final | Replaced>
229     Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
230     * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
231     * Requires: <glep numbers>
232     Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
233     Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
234     * Replaces: <glep number>
235     * Replaced-By: <glep number>
236    
237     The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
238     of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
239     value must be
240    
241     Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
242    
243     if the email address is included, and just
244    
245     Random J. User
246    
247     if the address is not given.
248    
249     If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
250     following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
251     email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
252     harvesters.
253    
254     While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
255     phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
256     the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
257     GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
258     mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
259     be obscured.
260    
261     The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
262     Track.
263    
264 g2boojum 1.5 The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
265     should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
266     "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
267 g2boojum 1.1 [#ReST]_).
268    
269     The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
270     Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
271     posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
272     14-Aug-2001.
273    
274     GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
275     depends on.
276    
277     GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
278     rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
279     that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
280     header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
281    
282    
283     Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
284     ===============================================
285    
286     How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
287     as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
288     nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
289     probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
290     For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
291     Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
292     author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
293     assign it to the GLEP editors.
294    
295     When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
296     GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
297    
298     GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
299     themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
300    
301     Transferring GLEP Ownership
302     ===========================
303    
304     It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
305     champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
306     of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
307     reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
308     time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
309     has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
310     email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
311     the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
312     that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
313    
314     If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
315     to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
316     <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
317     timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
318     such decisions can't be reversed :).
319    
320    
321     References and Footnotes
322     ========================
323    
324     .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
325    
326     .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
327    
328     .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
329    
330     .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
331     for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
332     tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
333     Linux viewcvs web site at
334 klieber 1.6 http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
335 g2boojum 1.1
336     .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
337 g2boojum 1.2 (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
338 g2boojum 1.1
339     .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
340    
341     .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
342 g2boojum 1.5
343     .. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
344 g2boojum 1.1
345     .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
346    
347     .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
348    
349     .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
350    
351     .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
352    
353    
354     Copyright
355     =========
356    
357     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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