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8 <title>GLEP 40 -- Standardizing "arch" keywording across all archs.</title>
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27 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">40</td>
28 </tr>
29 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Standardizing &quot;arch&quot; keywording across all archs.</td>
30 </tr>
31 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.4</td>
32 </tr>
33 <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.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0040.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2006/09/04 03:09:50</a></td>
34 </tr>
35 <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>
36 </tr>
37 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Final</td>
38 </tr>
39 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
40 </tr>
41 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
42 </tr>
43 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">3-Sep-2005</td>
44 </tr>
45 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">6-Sep-2005 15-Sep-2005 3-Sep-2006</td>
46 </tr>
47 </tbody>
48 </table>
49 <hr />
50 <div class="contents topic">
51 <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
52 <ul class="simple">
53 <li><a class="reference" href="#status" id="id10" name="id10">Status</a></li>
54 <li><a class="reference" href="#credits" id="id11" name="id11">Credits</a></li>
55 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id12" name="id12">Abstract</a></li>
56 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id13" name="id13">Motivation</a></li>
57 <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id14" name="id14">Specification</a><ul>
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs" id="id15" name="id15">Stabling guidelines for all archs</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#x86-arch-team" id="id16" name="id16">x86 arch team</a></li>
60 </ul>
61 </li>
62 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id17" name="id17">Rationale</a></li>
63 <li><a class="reference" href="#implementation" id="id18" name="id18">Implementation</a></li>
64 <li><a class="reference" href="#alternative-ideas" id="id19" name="id19">Alternative Ideas</a></li>
65 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id20" name="id20">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
66 <li><a class="reference" href="#id1" id="id21" name="id21">References</a></li>
67 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id22" name="id22">Copyright</a></li>
68 </ul>
69 </div>
70 <div class="section">
71 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" id="status" name="status">Status</a></h1>
72 <p>Approved by the Gentoo Council on 15 September 2005. As of 20060903
73 we have a robust x86 arch team, so this GLEP is final</p>
74 </div>
75 <div class="section">
76 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" id="credits" name="credits">Credits</a></h1>
77 <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
78 about combining the x86 and amd64 keywords. This GLEP attempts to get at the
79 heart of that discontent. The proposed stable-keyword guidelines have been
80 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>
81 </div>
82 <div class="section">
83 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
84 <p>It is time for x86 to no longer be an exception to the standard
85 keywording guidelines. Thus, an x86 arch team should be responsible
86 for moving packages from ~x86 to x86.</p>
87 </div>
88 <div class="section">
89 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
90 <p>The original, informal x86 keywording policy, where almost any x86 dev (which
91 were the vast majority of devs) who used a package could mark it stable, arose
92 from a time when there were relatively few Gentoo devs. Adding packages to
93 the tree was the principal concern, as opposed to maintaining existing
94 packages. QA considerations have since modified that policy slightly, and now
95 it is the package maintainers who should mark an x86 package stable. Of
96 course, that policy presumes that package maintainers are generally x86 devs,
97 which is slowly becoming less and less true.</p>
98 <p>This policy for x86 is quite different from how every other arch marks
99 packages stable. For the non-x86 archs, each arch has a specific &quot;arch team&quot;
100 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
101 vapier notes that &quot;arch teams generally defer to maintainers (and rightly so)
102 as to <em>when</em> newer versions should go stable.&quot; This approach has worked quite
103 well for the non-x86 archs, and this GLEP asserts that the same approach would
104 benefit x86 as well.</p>
105 </div>
106 <div class="section">
107 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" id="specification" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
108 <div class="section">
109 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" id="stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs" name="stabling-guidelines-for-all-archs">Stabling guidelines for all archs</a></h2>
110 <p>For a package to move to stable, the following guidelines must be met:</p>
111 <ul class="simple">
112 <li>The package has spent a reasonable amount of time in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt> first.
113 Thirty days is the usual figure, although this is clearly only a guideline.
114 For critical packages, a much longer duration is expected. For small
115 packages which have only minor changes between versions, a shorter period
116 is sometimes appropriate.</li>
117 <li>The package must not have any non-<tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt> dependencies.</li>
118 <li>The package must not have any severe outstanding bugs or issues.</li>
119 <li>The package must be widely tested.</li>
120 <li>If the package is a library, it should be known not to break any package
121 which depends upon it.</li>
122 <li>The relevant <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt> team must agree to it.</li>
123 </ul>
124 </div>
125 <div class="section">
126 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" id="x86-arch-team" name="x86-arch-team">x86 arch team</a></h2>
127 <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
128 exists, and it merely needs to be used. This team, with the aid of potential
129 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.
130 Current x86 devs who wish to mark their own packages stable must therefore
131 either be members of or make individual arrangements with the x86 arch team.</p>
132 </div>
133 </div>
134 <div class="section">
135 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
136 <p>There will be a considerable one-time cost involved in establishing a robust
137 x86 arch team--a good number of bodies (the amd64 arch team has 19 active devs
138 and 12 active non-dev arch testers) need to be recruited to be part of the
139 new arch team, and convincing devs that it is in their best interests to work
140 in a new fashion is likely to be even harder. Certainly the benefit of
141 consistency between the various archs is obvious, but is it worth the cost
142 involved? Here are the arguments for enduring the pain involved:</p>
143 <ul class="simple">
144 <li>Over time, x86 is likely to become a minority arch as 64-bit systems
145 become the norm. The implicit assumptions that underly the current
146 system (that most devs, users, and package maintainers use x86)
147 will become increasingly less valid.</li>
148 <li>Markedly improved QA for x86. Assuming that the author's own is
149 behavior is representative, most x86 devs run <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~x86</span></tt> systems.
150 Thus, the assumption that devs are good <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> testers is not really
151 valid. One obvious consequence is that packages tend to languish in
152 <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
153 cause to notice that a package has not been marked stable. The much larger
154 effect, though, is that it is rare for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> packages to be stabled in
155 the context of a full <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> tree, so the big picture of a stable
156 <em>system</em>, not just a stable package, is lost. This approach of stabling
157 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
158 the fundamental reason why the non-x86 archs have notably better QA
159 than does the x86 arch.</li>
160 </ul>
161 </div>
162 <div class="section">
163 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" id="implementation" name="implementation">Implementation</a></h1>
164 <p>Creation of a robust x86 team is already underway. The more vital step
165 is the official change in policy, along with a sustained effort to get
166 existing x86 devs to go along with it.</p>
167 </div>
168 <div class="section">
169 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" id="alternative-ideas" name="alternative-ideas">Alternative Ideas</a></h1>
170 <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
171 would exist in tandem with the normal arch keywords, thereby making the
172 package maintainer's intention explicit. Ciaranm has responded that by
173 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
174 mere presence in the tree (without being in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">package.mask</span></tt>) should indicate
175 the package maintainer's intention. There was a fair bit of discussion about
176 whether the idea should be a &quot;maint&quot; keyword, or named something else, or an
177 entirely different variable, etcetera, but the basic gist didn't change much.</p>
178 <p>Jstubbs notes that it could be a very good idea if all non-arch devs worked in
179 overlays, but that new portage (gensync) support would be needed to make it
180 truly viable. Stuart pointed out that php5 support was handled just that way.
181 One author's view is that this approach would make the &quot;package in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">~arch</span></tt>
182 means that it's a de-facto candidate for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">arch</span></tt>&quot; interpretation even more
183 valid.</p>
184 <p>Ciaranm and weeve have noted that it is occasionally necessary for arch teams
185 to override a package maintainer when it comes to stabling a package. Stuart
186 has asserted that in those cases the arch team should be willing to take on
187 the support burden for that package.</p>
188 </div>
189 <div class="section">
190 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id20" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
191 <p>Not really an issue here.</p>
192 </div>
193 <div class="section">
194 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" id="id1" name="id1">References</a></h1>
195 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id2" rules="none">
196 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
197 <tbody valign="top">
198 <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>
199 </tbody>
200 </table>
201 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id4" rules="none">
202 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
203 <tbody valign="top">
204 <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>
205 </tbody>
206 </table>
207 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id6" rules="none">
208 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
209 <tbody valign="top">
210 <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>
211 </tbody>
212 </table>
213 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id8" rules="none">
214 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
215 <tbody valign="top">
216 <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>
217 </tbody>
218 </table>
219 </div>
220 <div class="section">
221 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
222 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
223 </div>
224
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