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Revision 1.9 Revision 1.10
1GLEP: 1
2Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3Version: $Revision: 1.10 $
4Last-Modified: $Date: 2008/01/05 03:05:07 $
5Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6Status: Active
7Type: Informational
8Content-Type: text/x-rst
9Created: 31-May-2003
10Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003
11
12
13Credits
14=======
15
16The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
17is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
18[#PEPS]_, especially
19PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
20
21What is a GLEP?
22===============
23
24GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
25document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
26a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
27specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
28
29We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
30features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
31documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
32author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
33documenting dissenting opinions.
34
35Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
36revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
37[#CVS]_.
38
39
40Kinds of GLEPs
41==============
42
43There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
44or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
45general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
46propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
47Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
48are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
49
50
51GLEP Work Flow
52==============
53
54The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
55GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
56GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
57
58The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
59recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
60more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
61reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
62too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
63
64Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
65and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
66forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
67champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
68GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
69injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
70submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
71
72The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
73proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
74must be written in GLEP style as described below.
75
76If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
77it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
78Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
79draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
80Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
81technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
82compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
83
84If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
85gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
86consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87
88The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
89gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
90marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
91author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
92email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
93
94Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
95implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
96implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
97studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
98the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
99
100GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
101before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
102gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
103accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
104mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
105include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
106author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
107should use their discretion here.
108
109Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
110it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
111Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
112send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
113to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
114has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
115may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
116them a chance to make revisions.
117
118For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
119clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
120must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
121must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
122proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
123
124Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
125When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
126changed to "Final".
127
128A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
129assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
130a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
131
132A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
133a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
134
135GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
136obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
137
138GLEP work flow is as follows::
139
140 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
141 ^
142 +----> Rejected
143 v
144 Deferred
145
146Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
147meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
148
149
150What belongs in a successful GLEP?
151==================================
152
153Each GLEP should have the following parts:
154
1551. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
156 GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
157 to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
158 contact info for each author, etc.
159
1602. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
161 being addressed.
162
1633. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
164 modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
165 existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
166 the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
167 rejected outright.
168
1694. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
170 specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
171 functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
172 affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
173
1745. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
175 describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
176 were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
177 related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
178
179 The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
180 discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
181
1826. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
183 must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
184 and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
185 with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
186 be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
187 sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
188
1897. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
190 completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
191 completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
192 specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
193 code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
194
1958. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
196 labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
197 licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
198
199
200GLEP Formating and Template
201===========================
202
203GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
204a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
205called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
206Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
207that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
208functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
209Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
210template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
211
212
213GLEP Header Preamble
214====================
215
216Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
217must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
218optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
219
220 GLEP: <glep number>
221 Title: <glep title>
222 Version: <cvs version string>
223 Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
224 Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
225 * Discussions-To: <email address>
226 Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
227 Final | Replaced>
228 Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
229 * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
230 * Requires: <glep numbers>
231 Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
232 Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
233 * Replaces: <glep number>
234 * Replaced-By: <glep number>
235
236The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
237of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
238value must be
239
240 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
241
242if the email address is included, and just
243
244 Random J. User
245
246if the address is not given.
247
248If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
249following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
250email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
251harvesters.
252
253While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
254phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
255the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
256GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
257mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
258be obscured.
259
260The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
261Track.
262
263The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
264should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
265"text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
266[#ReST]_).
267
268The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
269Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
270posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
27114-Aug-2001.
272
273GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
274depends on.
275
276GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
277rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
278that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
279header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
280
281
282Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
283===============================================
284
285How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
286as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
287nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
288probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
289For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
290Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
291author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
292assign it to the GLEP editors.
293
294When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
295GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
296
297GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
298themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
299
300Transferring GLEP Ownership
301===========================
302
303It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
304champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
305of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
306reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
307time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
308has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
309email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
310the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
311that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
312
313If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
314to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
315<glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
316timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
317such decisions can't be reversed :).
318
319
320References and Footnotes
321========================
322
323.. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
324
325.. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
326
327.. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
328
329.. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
330 for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
331 tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
332 Linux viewcvs web site at
333 http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
334
335.. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
336 (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
337
338.. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
339
340.. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
341
342.. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
343
344.. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
345
346.. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
347
348.. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
349
350.. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
351
352
353Copyright
354=========
355
356This document has been placed in the public domain.

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