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Revision 1.9 Revision 1.13
1GLEP: 1
2Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3Version: $Revision: 1.13 $
4Last-Modified: $Date: 2011/03/10 20:53:02 $
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, 19-Jan-2008, 05-Jun-2008, 09-Mar-2011
11
12Credits
13=======
14
15The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
16is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
17[#PEPS]_, especially
18PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
19
20What is a GLEP?
21===============
22
23GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
24document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
25a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
26specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
27
28We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
29features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
30documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
31author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
32documenting dissenting opinions.
33
34Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
35revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
36[#CVS]_.
37
38
39Kinds of GLEPs
40==============
41
42There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
43or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
44general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
45propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
46Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
47are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
48
49
50GLEP Work Flow
51==============
52
53The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
54GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
55GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
56
57The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
58recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
59more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
60reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
61too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
62
63Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
64and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
65forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
66champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
67GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
68injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
69submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
70
71The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
72proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
73must be written in GLEP style as described below.
74
75If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
76it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
77Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
78draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
79Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
80technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
81compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
82
83If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
84gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
85consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
86
87The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
88gentoo-dev mailing list (and additionally to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_
89if they so desire), and marshaling community support for it. As updates are
90necessary, the GLEP author may check in new versions directly, or forward to
91a Gentoo developer with commit access.
92
93Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
94implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
95implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
96studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
97the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
98
99GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
100before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
101gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
102accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
103mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
104include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
105author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
106should use their discretion here.
107
108Once 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
110list. GLEPs are then reviewed at a Council meeting where the may be approved
111or rejected outright, or sent back to the author(s) for revision. This
112generally should be done a few weeks in advance of the actual review so as to
113avoid the appearance of "slipping" a GLEP in without proper public review
114by the Gentoo developer community.
115
116For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
117clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
118must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
119must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
120proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
121
122Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
123When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
124changed to "Final".
125
126A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
127assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
128a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
129
130A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
131a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
132
133GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
134obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
135
136GLEP work flow is as follows::
137
138 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
139 ^
140 +----> Rejected
141 v
142 Deferred
143
144Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
145meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
146
147
148What belongs in a successful GLEP?
149==================================
150
151Each GLEP should have the following parts:
152
1531. 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.
157
1582. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
159 being addressed.
160
1613. 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.
166
1674. 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?
171
1725. 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.
176
177 The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
178 discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
179
1806. 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.
186
1877. 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.
192
1938. 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].
196
197
198GLEP Formating and Template
199===========================
200
201GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
202a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
203called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
204Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
205that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
206functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
207Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
208template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
209
210
211GLEP Header Preamble
212====================
213
214Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
215must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
216optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
217
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>
233
234The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
235of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
236value must be
237
238 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
239
240if the email address is included, and just
241
242 Random J. User
243
244if the address is not given.
245
246If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
247following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
248email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
249harvesters.
250
251While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
252phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
253the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
254GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
255mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
256be obscured.
257
258The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
259Track.
260
261The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
262should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
263"text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
264[#ReST]_).
265
266The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
267Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
268posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
26914-Aug-2001.
270
271GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
272depends on.
273
274GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
275rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
276that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
277header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
278
279
280Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
281===============================================
282
283How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
284as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
285nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
286probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
287For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
288Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
289author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
290assign it to the GLEP editors.
291
292When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
293GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
294
295GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
296themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
297
298Transferring GLEP Ownership
299===========================
300
301It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
302champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
303of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
304reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
305time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
306has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
307email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
308the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
309that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
310
311If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
312to 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
314timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
315such decisions can't be reversed :).
316
317
318References and Footnotes
319========================
320
321.. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
322
323.. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
324
325.. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
326
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/
332
333.. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
334 (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
335
336.. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
337
338.. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
339
340.. [#COUNCIL] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0039.html
341
342.. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
343
344.. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
345
346.. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
347
348.. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
349
350
351Copyright
352=========
353
354This document has been placed in the public domain.

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