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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 1.3 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">2218</td>
36 pauldv 1.1 </tr>
37 pauldv 1.3 <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 20:39:14 +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 pauldv 1.3 is only one primary package manager. This is from gentoo's perspective. From a
147     user perspective it is perfectly possible to use another package
148     manager. Candidate primary package managers and secondary package managers are
149     also supported in regards to bugs etc.</p>
150 pauldv 1.1 <div class="section">
151 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>
152 pauldv 1.1 <p>The primary package manager is the package manager that sets the standards for
153     the tree. All ebuilds in the tree must function with the primary package
154     manager. As the primary package manager sets the standard it does not have to
155 pauldv 1.3 maintain compatibility with other package managers. This does not mean that the
156     actual implementation is the standard, but that the maintainers have the ability
157     to define new standards, together with the other involved gentoo projects.</p>
158 pauldv 1.1 <p>The primary package manager does however have the responsibility that it must be
159     very stable. The primary package manager must maintain compatibility with old
160 pauldv 1.2 versions of itself for extended periods of time. This compatibility time is set
161 pauldv 1.1 by the council. The suggested time would be one year from the point that there
162     is a compatible stable version for all supported architectures.</p>
163 pauldv 1.2 <p>Another compatibility requirement for the primary package manager is a limited
164 pauldv 1.1 forward compatibility. It must always be possible to transition from the
165     unstable version of the primary package manager to a stable version. This may be
166     done either by first introducing reading compatibility for a new format and only
167     having write support later. Another way would be the provision of a conversion
168     tool that ensures that the on disk information maintained by the package manager
169     is supported by the stable package manager.</p>
170 pauldv 1.3 <p>The primary package manager maintainers further have the responsibility to allow
171     competition. This means that reasonable patches from the maintainers of
172     secondary or candidate primary package managers must be applied, given that
173     these patches are as independent of that package manager as possible.</p>
174 pauldv 1.2 <p>The primary package manager is maintained on official Gentoo infrastructure,
175     under control of Gentoo developers.</p>
176 pauldv 1.1 </div>
177     <div class="section">
178 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>
179 pauldv 1.1 <p>A candidate primary package manager aims to replace the primary package
180     manager. The council is responsible for deciding whether this is done. The
181     requirements are there to ensure that it is actually possible to transition a
182     candidate primary package manager into the primary package manager.</p>
183     <p>First of all, there must exist a transition path. This means that the on disk
184     data of the primary package manager can be used by (or converted to a format
185     usable by) the candidate primary package manager.</p>
186     <p>Second, there must be a test path. It must be possible for the developers to
187     test out the candidate primary package manager on their working systems. This
188     means that the transition path must exist. This also means that there are no
189 pauldv 1.2 serious obstacles for reverting to the current primary package manager. This
190     reverting must also be usable when it is decided that the candidate will not
191     become primary package manager, for example because serious design flaws or bugs
192     were found. Ideally, the Candidate Primary Package Manager and the Primary
193     Package Manager can be installed simultaneously. If not, clear instructions must
194     be provided for both ways of transitioning.</p>
195 pauldv 1.1 <p>Third, there must exist an ebuild test path. It must be possible for package
196     managers to test ebuilds in one tree for both the primary as well as the
197     candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue if this requires a special
198     mode for the candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue either if
199 pauldv 1.2 compatibility can be achieved by having the candidate primary package manager
200     unmerge the package.</p>
201 pauldv 1.1 <p>Fourth, there must be support. This means that the package manager is actively
202 pauldv 1.2 maintained under control of Gentoo. If it is not maintained on Gentoo
203 pauldv 1.1 infrastructure, the means must be there to move the package manager, with its
204 pauldv 1.2 change history, to Gentoo infrastructure. This means that it must be maintained
205     on a Gentoo supported versioning system, or on a version system whose history
206     can be converted to a Gentoo supported versioning system.</p>
207     <p>Fifth, release capabilities. There must exist automated tools that use the
208     candidate primary package manager to create release media that have similar
209     capabilities as those released using the old primary package manager. The exact
210     requirements are determined by the Release Engineering project, but should not
211     be significantly beyond what is currently implemented using the primary package
212     manager.</p>
213 pauldv 1.1 </div>
214     <div class="section">
215 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>
216 pauldv 1.1 <p>A secondary package manager is a package manager that instead of directly aiming
217 pauldv 1.2 at replacing the current primary package manager as primary package manager aims
218     to cooperate with the primary package manager. As such a secondary package
219 pauldv 1.1 manager does not set the standard on the tree, but follows the standard set by
220     the primary package manager.</p>
221     <p>There are two kinds of secondary package managers. The first kind is formed by
222     those that do not maintain their own installed package database, but work with
223     the package database of the primary package manager. While these package
224     managers can put additional information in the database, these entries must
225     remain compatible with the primary package managers. Verification, reference,
226     and deinstallation by the primary package manager must remain functional.</p>
227     <p>The second kind is formed by those package managers that maintain their own
228     package database, or a package database incompatible with the primary package
229     manager. To ensure the secondary role of these package managers the support in
230 pauldv 1.3 the tree for these package managers is provided along with restrictions.</p>
231 pauldv 1.1 <p>The first restriction is that no packages in the tree must rely on the secondary
232     package manager. While packages may provide a level of support (while being
233     compatible with the primary package manager) this may not result in a
234 pauldv 1.2 significant increase of features. If this were allowed, this would mean that
235 pauldv 1.1 while they technically work with the primary package manager, there would be
236     significant incentive to use the secondary package manager. As the use of this
237 pauldv 1.2 secondary package manager disallows the parallel use of the primary package
238 pauldv 1.1 manager, this would result in users using the secondary package manager as their
239     primary package manager.</p>
240 pauldv 1.2 <p>Users are allowed to make their own choices. However by making the tree favour a
241 pauldv 1.1 package manager that is not the primary package manager, this will lead to the
242 pauldv 1.2 secondary package manager becoming the effective primary package manager. As
243     this will be a decision by default instead of a conscious choice by the council,
244 pauldv 1.1 this is an undesirable result.</p>
245     <p>There is one exclusion for the restriction of packages that only work with or
246     have significant improvements with the secondary package manager. That is
247     packages that by their nature are only usable with this secondary package
248 pauldv 1.2 manager. An example would be a graphical front-end to the secondary package
249 pauldv 1.1 manager.</p>
250     <p>If a secondary package manager works along the primary package manager, but by
251     itself does not have the capabilities of becoming a primary package manager the
252     risks of choice by default are lower. As a result, the council could choose to
253     allow the inclusion of packages that work only or significantly better with this
254     secondary package manager. For example at a point where there is a stable,
255     functional, package manager that can handle RPM format packages, the council
256     could decide to include these packages directly in the tree, instead of using
257     wrapper scripts for those packages that are only provided in the RPM
258     format. Such a decision does imply that the maintainers of the primary package
259     manager must take this secondary package manager into account.</p>
260     </div>
261     <div class="section">
262 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>
263 pauldv 1.1 <p>A third party package manager is just that. It is a package manager without any
264 pauldv 1.2 support within Gentoo. As there is no control by Gentoo over the package manager
265 pauldv 1.1 this means that there are no requirements on the package manager.</p>
266 pauldv 1.2 <p>This complete lack of control however also translates to the fact that Gentoo
267 pauldv 1.1 can not make package manager specific changes to support this package
268     manager. Package manager specific means that it is possible to request changes
269     that make the tree more independent of the primary package manager. These
270     changes must however be agnostic of the package manager, and only make it easier
271     to have alternative package managers.</p>
272     </div>
273     </div>
274     <div class="section">
275 pauldv 1.2 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="transition-phases" name="transition-phases">Transition phases</a></h1>
276 pauldv 1.1 <div class="section">
277 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>
278 pauldv 1.1 <p>A candidate primary package manager can be chosen to become primary package
279 pauldv 1.3 manager. This can only happen by council decision. This decision can only be
280     made when the candidate primary package manager is stable on all stable
281     architectures. (all architectures except experimental ones). There is a
282     incubation period of at least 3 months before a candidate primary package
283     manager can become the primary package manager.</p>
284 pauldv 1.1 <p>After the decision has been made to replace the primary package manager, the
285     transition phase starts. The use of the old stable package manager must remain
286     supported for a period of 6 months. This means that core packages must be
287     installable by this package manager. Further the possibility to convert the
288     system automatically to the new primary package manager must be available for at
289     least 18 months, but preferably longer (enable installing the new package
290     manager from the old one).</p>
291     <p>During the transition phase packages are allowed in the tree that use the new
292     features of the new primary package manager. While backward compatibility with
293     the previous primary package manager must be maintained a forward compatibility
294     is no longer needed.</p>
295     </div>
296     <div class="section">
297     <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>
298     <p>The transition from secondary package manager to candidate primary package
299     manager is straightforward. The secondary package manager must satisfy all
300     requirements for a candidate primary package manager. At that point its
301     maintainers can announce that they are changing the status to candidate primary
302 pauldv 1.2 package manager. This allows a greater support from Gentoo in achieving that
303 pauldv 1.1 goal.</p>
304     </div>
305     <div class="section">
306     <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>
307     <p>When a third party package manager wants to transition into one of the other
308     categories (except primary package manager) it must satisfy all requirements for
309     that category.</p>
310     </div>
311     </div>
312     <div class="section">
313     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
314     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id1" rules="none">
315     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
316     <tbody valign="top">
317     <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>
318     </tbody>
319     </table>
320     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id3" rules="none">
321     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
322     <tbody valign="top">
323     <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>
324     </tbody>
325     </table>
326     <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id5" rules="none">
327     <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
328     <tbody valign="top">
329     <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>
330     </tbody>
331     </table>
332     </div>
333     <div class="section">
334     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
335     <p>This document is copyright 2006 by Paul de Vrieze and licensed under the
336     <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>
337     </div>
338    
339     </div>
340     <div class="footer">
341     <hr class="footer" />
342     <a class="reference" href="glep-0049.txt">View document source</a>.
343 pauldv 1.3 Generated on: 2006-05-21 10:23 UTC.
344 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.
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