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31     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">49</td>
32     </tr>
33     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Alternative Package Manager requirements</td>
34     </tr>
35 pauldv 1.2 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">2215</td>
36 pauldv 1.1 </tr>
37 pauldv 1.2 <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-0049.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2006-05-20 16:18:10 +0200 (Sat, 20 May 2006)</a></td>
38 pauldv 1.1 </tr>
39     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Paul de Vrieze &lt;pauldv&#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="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
46     </tr>
47     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">18-May-2006</td>
48     </tr>
49 pauldv 1.2 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">19-May-2006</td>
50 pauldv 1.1 </tr>
51     </tbody>
52     </table>
53     <hr />
54     <div class="contents topic">
55     <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
56     <ul class="simple">
57     <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id7" name="id7">Abstract</a></li>
58     <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id8" name="id8">Motivation</a></li>
59     <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id9" name="id9">Rationale</a></li>
60     <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id10" name="id10">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
61     <li><a class="reference" href="#categories-of-package-managers" id="id11" name="id11">Categories of package managers</a></li>
62     <li><a class="reference" href="#package-manager-requirements" id="id12" name="id12">Package manager requirements</a><ul>
63 pauldv 1.2 <li><a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-requirements" id="id13" name="id13">Primary package manager requirements</a></li>
64     <li><a class="reference" href="#candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements" id="id14" name="id14">Candidate primary package manager requirements</a></li>
65     <li><a class="reference" href="#secondary-package-manager-requirements" id="id15" name="id15">Secondary package manager requirements</a></li>
66     <li><a class="reference" href="#third-party-package-manager-requirements" id="id16" name="id16">Third party package manager requirements</a></li>
67 pauldv 1.1 </ul>
68     </li>
69 pauldv 1.2 <li><a class="reference" href="#transition-phases" id="id17" name="id17">Transition phases</a><ul>
70     <li><a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-transition-phase" id="id18" name="id18">Primary package manager transition phase</a></li>
71 pauldv 1.1 <li><a class="reference" href="#secondary-package-manager-to-candidate-primary-package-manager-transition" id="id19" name="id19">Secondary package manager to candidate primary package manager transition</a></li>
72     <li><a class="reference" href="#third-party-to-other-transition" id="id20" name="id20">Third party to other transition</a></li>
73     </ul>
74     </li>
75     <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id21" name="id21">References</a></li>
76     <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id22" name="id22">Copyright</a></li>
77     </ul>
78     </div>
79     <div class="section">
80     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
81     <p>This GLEP describes four classes of package managers. What the requirements for
82     them are, and what support they can receive.</p>
83     </div>
84     <div class="section">
85     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id8" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
86 pauldv 1.2 <p>To set a standard that package managers that seek Gentoo project approval and
87 pauldv 1.1 support should adhere to.</p>
88     </div>
89     <div class="section">
90     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
91 pauldv 1.2 <p>Currently Portage is showing its age. The code of Portage does not seem to be
92     salvageable for new versions. As of the date of publication, there are two known
93     alternative package managers that claim a level of Portage compatibility. These
94     alternatives are <a class="reference" href="http://paludis.berlios.de/">paludis</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id1" id="id2" name="id2">[1]</a> and <a class="reference" href="http://gentooexperimental.org/~ferringb/bzr/pkgcore/">pkgcore</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id3" id="id4" name="id4">[2]</a>. Before these alternatives are
95     developed further, a set of rules should be created to level the playing field
96     and ensuring that decisions can be made clearly.</p>
97 pauldv 1.1 </div>
98     <div class="section">
99     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
100     <p>Not a problem for this GLEP. There is no previous standard as the issue did not
101     exist before. This GLEP is to prevent future compatibility issues.</p>
102     </div>
103     <div class="section">
104     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" id="categories-of-package-managers" name="categories-of-package-managers">Categories of package managers</a></h1>
105     <p>We distinguish four categories of package managers. While a package manager can
106     transition from one category to another, it can not be in two categories at the
107     same time. It can be in a state of transition though.</p>
108     <dl class="docutils">
109     <dt><em>Primary Package Manager</em></dt>
110     <dd>There is one primary package manager. Currently this position is held by
111 pauldv 1.2 Portage. The primary package manager is assigned by the council and all
112     packages in the official tree must be installable by a usable version of the
113 pauldv 1.1 primary package manager.</dd>
114     <dt><em>Candidate Primary Package Managers</em></dt>
115     <dd>A candidate Primary Package Manager does aim, or show an aim, at replacing
116     the current primary package manager. At a point where the package manager is
117     deemed stable a decision must be made whether this package manager should
118 pauldv 1.2 become the new primary package manager. At that point the <a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-transition-phase">Primary package
119 pauldv 1.1 manager transition phase</a> starts.</dd>
120     <dt><em>Secondary Package Managers</em></dt>
121     <dd><p class="first">A secondary package manager is a package manager that coexists with the
122 pauldv 1.2 primary package manager, while not aiming to replace it. Examples of package
123     managers that would fall into this category are:</p>
124 pauldv 1.1 <ul class="last simple">
125     <li>Experimental package managers. Package managers whose purpose it is to try
126     out new features.</li>
127 pauldv 1.2 <li>Focused package managers. For example a package manager that allows the
128     use of RPM formatted binary packages would be an example.</li>
129     <li>Alternate package managers. Package managers that aim to coexist with the
130     primary package manager. They might for example offer a nicer user
131     interface than the primary package manager (e.g. show a cow instead of
132     compilation messages).</li>
133 pauldv 1.1 </ul>
134     </dd>
135     <dt><em>Third Party Package Managers</em></dt>
136     <dd>A third party package manager is any package manager that lacks recognition
137 pauldv 1.2 from Gentoo as being in any other category. A third party package manager may
138     or may not have a Gentoo package, but is not supported beyond that.</dd>
139 pauldv 1.1 </dl>
140     </div>
141     <div class="section">
142     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" id="package-manager-requirements" name="package-manager-requirements">Package manager requirements</a></h1>
143     <p>As a package manager is in a state of higher support there are higher
144     requirements to it. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure the unity of
145     the distribution and the package tree. For this purpose it is needed that there
146     is only one primary package manager.</p>
147     <div class="section">
148 pauldv 1.2 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" id="primary-package-manager-requirements" name="primary-package-manager-requirements">Primary package manager requirements</a></h2>
149 pauldv 1.1 <p>The primary package manager is the package manager that sets the standards for
150     the tree. All ebuilds in the tree must function with the primary package
151     manager. As the primary package manager sets the standard it does not have to
152     maintain compatibility with other package managers.</p>
153     <p>The primary package manager does however have the responsibility that it must be
154     very stable. The primary package manager must maintain compatibility with old
155 pauldv 1.2 versions of itself for extended periods of time. This compatibility time is set
156 pauldv 1.1 by the council. The suggested time would be one year from the point that there
157     is a compatible stable version for all supported architectures.</p>
158 pauldv 1.2 <p>Another compatibility requirement for the primary package manager is a limited
159 pauldv 1.1 forward compatibility. It must always be possible to transition from the
160     unstable version of the primary package manager to a stable version. This may be
161     done either by first introducing reading compatibility for a new format and only
162     having write support later. Another way would be the provision of a conversion
163     tool that ensures that the on disk information maintained by the package manager
164     is supported by the stable package manager.</p>
165 pauldv 1.2 <p>The primary package manager is maintained on official Gentoo infrastructure,
166     under control of Gentoo developers.</p>
167 pauldv 1.1 </div>
168     <div class="section">
169 pauldv 1.2 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" id="candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements" name="candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements">Candidate primary package manager requirements</a></h2>
170 pauldv 1.1 <p>A candidate primary package manager aims to replace the primary package
171     manager. The council is responsible for deciding whether this is done. The
172     requirements are there to ensure that it is actually possible to transition a
173     candidate primary package manager into the primary package manager.</p>
174     <p>First of all, there must exist a transition path. This means that the on disk
175     data of the primary package manager can be used by (or converted to a format
176     usable by) the candidate primary package manager.</p>
177     <p>Second, there must be a test path. It must be possible for the developers to
178     test out the candidate primary package manager on their working systems. This
179     means that the transition path must exist. This also means that there are no
180 pauldv 1.2 serious obstacles for reverting to the current primary package manager. This
181     reverting must also be usable when it is decided that the candidate will not
182     become primary package manager, for example because serious design flaws or bugs
183     were found. Ideally, the Candidate Primary Package Manager and the Primary
184     Package Manager can be installed simultaneously. If not, clear instructions must
185     be provided for both ways of transitioning.</p>
186 pauldv 1.1 <p>Third, there must exist an ebuild test path. It must be possible for package
187     managers to test ebuilds in one tree for both the primary as well as the
188     candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue if this requires a special
189     mode for the candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue either if
190 pauldv 1.2 compatibility can be achieved by having the candidate primary package manager
191     unmerge the package.</p>
192 pauldv 1.1 <p>Fourth, there must be support. This means that the package manager is actively
193 pauldv 1.2 maintained under control of Gentoo. If it is not maintained on Gentoo
194 pauldv 1.1 infrastructure, the means must be there to move the package manager, with its
195 pauldv 1.2 change history, to Gentoo infrastructure. This means that it must be maintained
196     on a Gentoo supported versioning system, or on a version system whose history
197     can be converted to a Gentoo supported versioning system.</p>
198     <p>Fifth, release capabilities. There must exist automated tools that use the
199     candidate primary package manager to create release media that have similar
200     capabilities as those released using the old primary package manager. The exact
201     requirements are determined by the Release Engineering project, but should not
202     be significantly beyond what is currently implemented using the primary package
203     manager.</p>
204 pauldv 1.1 </div>
205     <div class="section">
206 pauldv 1.2 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" id="secondary-package-manager-requirements" name="secondary-package-manager-requirements">Secondary package manager requirements</a></h2>
207 pauldv 1.1 <p>A secondary package manager is a package manager that instead of directly aiming
208 pauldv 1.2 at replacing the current primary package manager as primary package manager aims
209     to cooperate with the primary package manager. As such a secondary package
210 pauldv 1.1 manager does not set the standard on the tree, but follows the standard set by
211     the primary package manager.</p>
212     <p>There are two kinds of secondary package managers. The first kind is formed by
213     those that do not maintain their own installed package database, but work with
214     the package database of the primary package manager. While these package
215     managers can put additional information in the database, these entries must
216     remain compatible with the primary package managers. Verification, reference,
217     and deinstallation by the primary package manager must remain functional.</p>
218     <p>The second kind is formed by those package managers that maintain their own
219     package database, or a package database incompatible with the primary package
220     manager. To ensure the secondary role of these package managers the support in
221     the tree for these package manager is provided along with restrictions.</p>
222     <p>The first restriction is that no packages in the tree must rely on the secondary
223     package manager. While packages may provide a level of support (while being
224     compatible with the primary package manager) this may not result in a
225 pauldv 1.2 significant increase of features. If this were allowed, this would mean that
226 pauldv 1.1 while they technically work with the primary package manager, there would be
227     significant incentive to use the secondary package manager. As the use of this
228 pauldv 1.2 secondary package manager disallows the parallel use of the primary package
229 pauldv 1.1 manager, this would result in users using the secondary package manager as their
230     primary package manager.</p>
231 pauldv 1.2 <p>Users are allowed to make their own choices. However by making the tree favour a
232 pauldv 1.1 package manager that is not the primary package manager, this will lead to the
233 pauldv 1.2 secondary package manager becoming the effective primary package manager. As
234     this will be a decision by default instead of a conscious choice by the council,
235 pauldv 1.1 this is an undesirable result.</p>
236     <p>There is one exclusion for the restriction of packages that only work with or
237     have significant improvements with the secondary package manager. That is
238     packages that by their nature are only usable with this secondary package
239 pauldv 1.2 manager. An example would be a graphical front-end to the secondary package
240 pauldv 1.1 manager.</p>
241     <p>If a secondary package manager works along the primary package manager, but by
242     itself does not have the capabilities of becoming a primary package manager the
243     risks of choice by default are lower. As a result, the council could choose to
244     allow the inclusion of packages that work only or significantly better with this
245     secondary package manager. For example at a point where there is a stable,
246     functional, package manager that can handle RPM format packages, the council
247     could decide to include these packages directly in the tree, instead of using
248     wrapper scripts for those packages that are only provided in the RPM
249     format. Such a decision does imply that the maintainers of the primary package
250     manager must take this secondary package manager into account.</p>
251     </div>
252     <div class="section">
253 pauldv 1.2 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" id="third-party-package-manager-requirements" name="third-party-package-manager-requirements">Third party package manager requirements</a></h2>
254 pauldv 1.1 <p>A third party package manager is just that. It is a package manager without any
255 pauldv 1.2 support within Gentoo. As there is no control by Gentoo over the package manager
256 pauldv 1.1 this means that there are no requirements on the package manager.</p>
257 pauldv 1.2 <p>This complete lack of control however also translates to the fact that Gentoo
258 pauldv 1.1 can not make package manager specific changes to support this package
259     manager. Package manager specific means that it is possible to request changes
260     that make the tree more independent of the primary package manager. These
261     changes must however be agnostic of the package manager, and only make it easier
262     to have alternative package managers.</p>
263     </div>
264     </div>
265     <div class="section">
266 pauldv 1.2 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="transition-phases" name="transition-phases">Transition phases</a></h1>
267 pauldv 1.1 <div class="section">
268 pauldv 1.2 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" id="primary-package-manager-transition-phase" name="primary-package-manager-transition-phase">Primary package manager transition phase</a></h2>
269 pauldv 1.1 <p>A candidate primary package manager can be chosen to become primary package
270     manager. This can only happen by council decision. This decision can only be
271 pauldv 1.2 made when the candidate primary package manager is stable on all stable
272 pauldv 1.1 architectures. (all architectures except experimental ones).</p>
273     <p>After the decision has been made to replace the primary package manager, the
274     transition phase starts. The use of the old stable package manager must remain
275     supported for a period of 6 months. This means that core packages must be
276     installable by this package manager. Further the possibility to convert the
277     system automatically to the new primary package manager must be available for at
278     least 18 months, but preferably longer (enable installing the new package
279     manager from the old one).</p>
280     <p>During the transition phase packages are allowed in the tree that use the new
281     features of the new primary package manager. While backward compatibility with
282     the previous primary package manager must be maintained a forward compatibility
283     is no longer needed.</p>
284     </div>
285     <div class="section">
286     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" id="secondary-package-manager-to-candidate-primary-package-manager-transition" name="secondary-package-manager-to-candidate-primary-package-manager-transition">Secondary package manager to candidate primary package manager transition</a></h2>
287     <p>The transition from secondary package manager to candidate primary package
288     manager is straightforward. The secondary package manager must satisfy all
289     requirements for a candidate primary package manager. At that point its
290     maintainers can announce that they are changing the status to candidate primary
291 pauldv 1.2 package manager. This allows a greater support from Gentoo in achieving that
292 pauldv 1.1 goal.</p>
293     </div>
294     <div class="section">
295     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id20" id="third-party-to-other-transition" name="third-party-to-other-transition">Third party to other transition</a></h2>
296     <p>When a third party package manager wants to transition into one of the other
297     categories (except primary package manager) it must satisfy all requirements for
298     that category.</p>
299     </div>
300     </div>
301     <div class="section">
302     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
303     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id1" rules="none">
304     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
305     <tbody valign="top">
306     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id2" name="id1">[1]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://paludis.berlios.de/">http://paludis.berlios.de/</a></td></tr>
307     </tbody>
308     </table>
309     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id3" rules="none">
310     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
311     <tbody valign="top">
312     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id4" name="id3">[2]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://gentooexperimental.org/~ferringb/bzr/pkgcore/">http://gentooexperimental.org/~ferringb/bzr/pkgcore/</a></td></tr>
313     </tbody>
314     </table>
315     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id5" rules="none">
316     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
317     <tbody valign="top">
318     <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id6" name="id5">[3]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/">http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/</a></td></tr>
319     </tbody>
320     </table>
321     </div>
322     <div class="section">
323     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
324     <p>This document is copyright 2006 by Paul de Vrieze and licensed under the
325     <a class="reference" href="http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/">Open Publication License</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id5" id="id6" name="id6">[3]</a>.</p>
326     </div>
327    
328     </div>
329     <div class="footer">
330     <hr class="footer" />
331     <a class="reference" href="glep-0049.txt">View document source</a>.
332 pauldv 1.2 Generated on: 2006-05-20 14:20 UTC.
333 pauldv 1.1 Generated by <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/">Docutils</a> from <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html">reStructuredText</a> source.
334    
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