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GLEP-0039 does NOT replace GLEP-0001

1 GLEP: 1
2 Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 Version: $Revision: 1.11 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2008/01/20 02:56:39 $
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, 19-Jan-2008, 05-Jun-2008
11
12 Credits
13 =======
14
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.
19
20 What is a GLEP?
21 ===============
22
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.
27
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.
33
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]_.
37
38
39 Kinds of GLEPs
40 ==============
41
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.
48
49
50 GLEP Work Flow
51 ==============
52
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>.
56
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 more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
60 reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
61 too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
62
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]_.
70
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.
74
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.
82
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.
86
87 The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
88 gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
89 marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
90 author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
91 email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
92
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.
98
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 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
102 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.
107
108 Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
109 it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
110 Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
111 send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
112 to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
113 has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
114 may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
115 them a chance to make revisions.
116
117 For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
118 clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
119 must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
120 must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
121 proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
122
123 Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
124 When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
125 changed to "Final".
126
127 A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
128 assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
129 a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
130
131 A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
132 a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
133
134 GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
135 obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
136
137 GLEP work flow is as follows::
138
139 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
140 ^
141 +----> Rejected
142 v
143 Deferred
144
145 Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
146 meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
147
148
149 What belongs in a successful GLEP?
150 ==================================
151
152 Each GLEP should have the following parts:
153
154 1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
155 GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
156 to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
157 contact info for each author, etc.
158
159 2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
160 being addressed.
161
162 3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
163 modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
164 existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
165 the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
166 rejected outright.
167
168 4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
169 specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
170 functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
171 affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
172
173 5. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
174 describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
175 were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
176 related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
177
178 The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
179 discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
180
181 6. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
182 must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
183 and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
184 with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
185 be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
186 sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
187
188 7. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
189 completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
190 completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
191 specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
192 code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
193
194 8. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
195 labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
196 licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
197
198
199 GLEP Formating and Template
200 ===========================
201
202 GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
203 a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
204 called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
205 Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
206 that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
207 functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
208 Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
209 template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
210
211
212 GLEP Header Preamble
213 ====================
214
215 Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
216 must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
217 optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
218
219 GLEP: <glep number>
220 Title: <glep title>
221 Version: <cvs version string>
222 Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
223 Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
224 * Discussions-To: <email address>
225 Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
226 Final | Replaced>
227 Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
228 * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
229 * Requires: <glep numbers>
230 Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
231 Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
232 * Replaces: <glep number>
233 * Replaced-By: <glep number>
234
235 The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
236 of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
237 value must be
238
239 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
240
241 if the email address is included, and just
242
243 Random J. User
244
245 if the address is not given.
246
247 If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
248 following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
249 email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
250 harvesters.
251
252 While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
253 phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
254 the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
255 GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
256 mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
257 be obscured.
258
259 The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
260 Track.
261
262 The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
263 should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
264 "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
265 [#ReST]_).
266
267 The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
268 Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
269 posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
270 14-Aug-2001.
271
272 GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
273 depends on.
274
275 GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
276 rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
277 that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
278 header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
279
280
281 Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
282 ===============================================
283
284 How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
285 as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
286 nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
287 probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
288 For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
289 Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
290 author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
291 assign it to the GLEP editors.
292
293 When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
294 GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
295
296 GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
297 themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
298
299 Transferring GLEP Ownership
300 ===========================
301
302 It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
303 champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
304 of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
305 reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
306 time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
307 has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
308 email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
309 the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
310 that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
311
312 If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
313 to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
314 <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
315 timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
316 such decisions can't be reversed :).
317
318
319 References and Footnotes
320 ========================
321
322 .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
323
324 .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
325
326 .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
327
328 .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
329 for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
330 tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
331 Linux viewcvs web site at
332 http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
333
334 .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
335 (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
336
337 .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
338
339 .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
340
341 .. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
342
343 .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
344
345 .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
346
347 .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
348
349 .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
350
351
352 Copyright
353 =========
354
355 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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