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1 GLEP: 1
2 Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 Version: $Revision: 1.8 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/04/04 23:05:35 $
5 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6 Status: Active
7 Type: Informational
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 31-May-2003
10 Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003
11
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 GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
56 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 The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
73 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 accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
77 it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
78 Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
79 draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
80 Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
81 technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
82 compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
83
84 If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
85 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
86 consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87
88 The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
89 gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
90 marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
91 author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
92 email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
93
94 Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
95 implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
96 implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
97 studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
98 the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
99
100 GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
101 before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
102 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
103 accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
104 mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
105 include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
106 author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
107 should use their discretion here.
108
109 Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
110 it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
111 Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
112 send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
113 to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
114 has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
115 may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
116 them a chance to make revisions.
117
118 For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
119 clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
120 must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
121 must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
122 proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
123
124 Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
125 When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
126 changed to "Final".
127
128 A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
129 assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
130 a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
131
132 A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
133 a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
134
135 GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
136 obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
137
138 GLEP work flow is as follows::
139
140 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
141 ^
142 +----> Rejected
143 v
144 Deferred
145
146 Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
147 meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
148
149
150 What belongs in a successful GLEP?
151 ==================================
152
153 Each GLEP should have the following parts:
154
155 1. 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
160 2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
161 being addressed.
162
163 3. 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
169 4. 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
174 5. 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
182 6. 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
189 7. 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
195 8. 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
200 GLEP Formating and Template
201 ===========================
202
203 GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
204 a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
205 called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
206 Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
207 that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
208 functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
209 Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
210 template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
211
212
213 GLEP Header Preamble
214 ====================
215
216 Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
217 must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
218 optional 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
236 The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
237 of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
238 value must be
239
240 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
241
242 if the email address is included, and just
243
244 Random J. User
245
246 if the address is not given.
247
248 If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
249 following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
250 email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
251 harvesters.
252
253 While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
254 phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
255 the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
256 GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
257 mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
258 be obscured.
259
260 The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
261 Track.
262
263 The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
264 should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
265 "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
266 [#ReST]_).
267
268 The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
269 Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
270 posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
271 14-Aug-2001.
272
273 GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
274 depends on.
275
276 GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
277 rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
278 that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
279 header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
280
281
282 Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
283 ===============================================
284
285 How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
286 as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
287 nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
288 probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
289 For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
290 Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
291 author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
292 assign it to the GLEP editors.
293
294 When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
295 GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
296
297 GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
298 themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
299
300 Transferring GLEP Ownership
301 ===========================
302
303 It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
304 champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
305 of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
306 reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
307 time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
308 has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
309 email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
310 the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
311 that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
312
313 If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
314 to 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
316 timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
317 such decisions can't be reversed :).
318
319
320 References 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
353 Copyright
354 =========
355
356 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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