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12     <title>GLEP 40 -- Standardizing "arch" keywording across all archs.</title>
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31     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">40</td>
32     </tr>
33     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Standardizing &quot;arch&quot; keywording across all archs.</td>
34     </tr>
35     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.1</td>
36     </tr>
37     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0040.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2005/09/09 03:06:28</a></td>
38     </tr>
39     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Grant Goodyear &lt;g2boojum&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
40     </tr>
41     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Draft</td>
42     </tr>
43     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
44     </tr>
45     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.python.org/peps/glep-0012.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
46     </tr>
47     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">3-Sep-2005</td>
48     </tr>
49     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">6-Sep-2005</td>
50     </tr>
51     </tbody>
52     </table>
53     <hr />
54     <div class="contents topic" id="contents">
55     <p class="topic-title first"><a name="contents">Contents</a></p>
56     <ul class="simple">
57     <li><a class="reference" href="#credits" id="id10" name="id10">Credits</a></li>
58     <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id11" name="id11">Abstract</a></li>
59     <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id12" name="id12">Motivation</a></li>
60     <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id13" name="id13">Specification</a><ul>
61     <li><a class="reference" href="#stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs" id="id14" name="id14">Stabling guidelines for all archs</a></li>
62     <li><a class="reference" href="#x86-arch-team" id="id15" name="id15">x86 arch team</a></li>
63     </ul>
64     </li>
65     <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id16" name="id16">Rationale</a></li>
66     <li><a class="reference" href="#implementation" id="id17" name="id17">Implementation</a></li>
67     <li><a class="reference" href="#alternative-ideas" id="id18" name="id18">Alternative Ideas</a></li>
68     <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id19" name="id19">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
69     <li><a class="reference" href="#id1" id="id20" name="id20">References</a></li>
70     <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id21" name="id21">Copyright</a></li>
71     </ul>
72     </div>
73     <div class="section" id="credits">
74     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" name="credits">Credits</a></h1>
75     <p>This GLEP originated from a rather contentious <a class="reference" href="http://tinyurl.com/bp859">discussion</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id2" id="id3" name="id3">[1]</a> on gentoo-dev
76     about combining the x86 and amd64 keywords. This GLEP attempts to get at the
77     heart of that discontent. The proposed stable-keyword guidelines have been
78     lifted verbatim from <a class="reference" href="http://dev.gentoo.org/~plasmaroo/devmanual">The Doc</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id4" id="id5" name="id5">[2]</a>.</p>
79     </div>
80     <div class="section" id="abstract">
81     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
82     <p>It is time for x86 to no longer be an exception to the standard
83     keywording guidelines. Thus, an x86 arch team should be responsible
84     for moving packages from ~x86 to x86.</p>
85     </div>
86     <div class="section" id="motivation">
87     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
88     <p>The original, informal x86 keywording policy, where almost any x86 dev (which
89     were the vast majority of devs) who used a package could mark it stable, arose
90     from a time when there were relatively few Gentoo devs. Adding packages to
91     the tree was the principal concern, as opposed to maintaining existing
92     packages. QA considerations have since modified that policy slightly, and now
93     it is the package maintainers who should mark an x86 package stable. Of
94     course, that policy presumes that package maintainers are generally x86 devs,
95     which is slowly becoming less and less true.</p>
96     <p>This policy for x86 is quite different from how every other arch marks
97     packages stable. For the non-x86 archs, each arch has a specific &quot;arch team&quot;
98     which is responsible for moving packages from <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt> to <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt>, although
99     vapier notes that &quot;arch teams generally defer to maintainers (and rightly so)
100     as to <em>when</em> newer versions should go stable.&quot; This approach has worked quite
101     well for the non-x86 archs, and this GLEP asserts that the same approach would
102     benefit x86 as well.</p>
103     </div>
104     <div class="section" id="specification">
105     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
106     <div class="section" id="stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs">
107     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" name="stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs">Stabling guidelines for all archs</a></h2>
108     <p>For a package to move to stable, the following guidelines must be met:</p>
109     <ul class="simple">
110     <li>The package has spent a reasonable amount of time in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt> first.
111     Thirty days is the usual figure, although this is clearly only a guideline.
112     For critical packages, a much longer duration is expected. For small
113     packages which have only minor changes between versions, a shorter period
114     is sometimes appropriate.</li>
115     <li>The package must not have any non-<tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt> dependencies.</li>
116     <li>The package must not have any severe outstanding bugs or issues.</li>
117     <li>The package must be widely tested.</li>
118     <li>If the package is a library, it should be known not to break any package
119     which depends upon it.</li>
120     <li>The relevant <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt> team must agree to it.</li>
121     </ul>
122     </div>
123     <div class="section" id="x86-arch-team">
124     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" name="x86-arch-team">x86 arch team</a></h2>
125     <p>A robust x86 arch team needs to be created. The <a class="reference" href="mailto:x86&#64;gentoo.org">x86&#64;gentoo.org</a> alias already
126     exists, and it merely needs to be used. This team, with the aid of potential
127     non-dev <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span> <span class="pre">testers</span></tt>, has the responsibility of stabling all x86 packages.
128     Current x86 devs who wish to mark their own packages stable must therefore
129     either be members of or make individual arrangements with the x86 arch team.</p>
130     </div>
131     </div>
132     <div class="section" id="rationale">
133     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
134     <p>There will be a considerable one-time cost involved in establishing a robust
135     x86 arch team--a good number of bodies (the amd64 atch team has 19 active devs
136     and 12 active non-dev arch testers) need to be recruited to be part of the
137     new arch team, and convincing devs that it is in their best interests to work
138     in a new fashion is likely to be even harder. Certainly the benefit of
139     consistency between the various archs is obvious, but is it worth the cost
140     involved? Here are the arguments for enduring the pain involved:</p>
141     <ul class="simple">
142     <li>Over time, x86 is likely to become a minority arch as 64-bit systems
143     become the norm. The implicit assumptions that underly the current
144     system (that most devs, users, and package maintainers use x86)
145     will become increasingly less valid.</li>
146     <li>Markedly improved QA for x86. Assuming that the author's own is
147     behavior is representative, most x86 devs run <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~x86</span></tt> systems.
148     Thus, the assumption that devs are good <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> testers is not really
149     valid. One obvious consequence is that packages tend to languish in
150     <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~x86</span></tt> for a very long time, since x86 devs running <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~x86</span></tt> have little
151     cause to notice that a package has not been marked stable. The much larger
152     effect, though, is that it is rare for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> packages to be stabled in
153     the context of a full <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> tree, so the big picture of a stable
154     <em>system</em>, not just a stable package, is lost. This approach of stabling
155     in the context of a full stable <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt> tree, it has been <a class="reference" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/30369">argued</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id6" id="id7" name="id7">[3]</a>, is
156     the fundamental reason why the non-x86 archs have notably better QA
157     than does the x86 arch.</li>
158     </ul>
159     </div>
160     <div class="section" id="implementation">
161     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" name="implementation">Implementation</a></h1>
162     <p>Creation of a robust x86 team is already underway. The more vital step
163     is the official change in policy, along with a sustained effort to get
164     existing x86 devs to go along with it.</p>
165     </div>
166     <div class="section" id="alternative-ideas">
167     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" name="alternative-ideas">Alternative Ideas</a></h1>
168     <p><a class="reference" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/31060">Stuart</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id8" id="id9" name="id9">[4]</a> has suggested the creation of a new arch keyword: &quot;[-]maint&quot;, which
169     would exist in tandem with the normal arch keywords, thereby making the
170     package maintainer's intention explicit. Ciaranm has responded that by
171     definition a package in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt> is a candidate for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt>, so a package's
172     mere presence in the tree (without being in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">package.mask</span></tt>) should indicate
173     the package maintainer's intention. There was a fair bit of discussion about
174     whether the idea should be a &quot;maint&quot; keyword, or named something else, or an
175     entirely different variable, etcetera, but the basic gist didn't change much.</p>
176     <p>Jstubbs notes that it could be a very good idea if all non-arch devs worked in
177     overlays, but that new portage (gensync) support would be needed to make it
178     truly viable. Stuart pointed out that php5 support was handled just that way.
179     One author's view is that this approach would make the &quot;package in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt>
180     means that it's a de-facto candidate for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt>&quot; interpretation even more
181     valid.</p>
182     <p>Ciaranm and weeve have noted that it is occasionally necessary for arch teams
183     to override a package maintainer when it comes to stabling a package. Stuart
184     has asserted that in those cases the arch team should be willing to take on
185     the support burden for that package.</p>
186     </div>
187     <div class="section" id="backwards-compatibility">
188     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
189     <p>Not really an issue here.</p>
190     </div>
191     <div class="section" id="id1">
192     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id20" name="id1">References</a></h1>
193     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id2" rules="none">
194     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
195     <tbody valign="top">
196     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id3" name="id2">[1]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://tinyurl.com/bp859">http://tinyurl.com/bp859</a></td></tr>
197     </tbody>
198     </table>
199     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id4" rules="none">
200     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
201     <tbody valign="top">
202     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id5" name="id4">[2]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://dev.gentoo.org/~plasmaroo/devmanual">http://dev.gentoo.org/~plasmaroo/devmanual</a></td></tr>
203     </tbody>
204     </table>
205     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id6" rules="none">
206     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
207     <tbody valign="top">
208     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id7" name="id6">[3]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/30369">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/30369</a></td></tr>
209     </tbody>
210     </table>
211     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id8" rules="none">
212     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
213     <tbody valign="top">
214     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id9" name="id8">[4]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/31060">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/31060</a></td></tr>
215     </tbody>
216     </table>
217     </div>
218     <div class="section" id="copyright">
219     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
220     <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
221     </div>
222    
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