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27 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">49</td>
28 </tr>
29 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Alternative Package Manager requirements</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-0049.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2006/09/05 20:54:30</a></td>
34 </tr>
35 <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>
36 </tr>
37 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Rejected</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">18-May-2006</td>
44 </tr>
45 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">19-May-2006, 6-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="id7" name="id7">Status</a></li>
54 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id8" name="id8">Abstract</a></li>
55 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id9" name="id9">Motivation</a></li>
56 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id10" name="id10">Rationale</a></li>
57 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id11" name="id11">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#categories-of-package-managers" id="id12" name="id12">Categories of package managers</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#package-manager-requirements" id="id13" name="id13">Package manager requirements</a><ul>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-requirements" id="id14" name="id14">Primary package manager requirements</a></li>
61 <li><a class="reference" href="#candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements" id="id15" name="id15">Candidate primary package manager requirements</a></li>
62 <li><a class="reference" href="#secondary-package-manager-requirements" id="id16" name="id16">Secondary package manager requirements</a></li>
63 <li><a class="reference" href="#third-party-package-manager-requirements" id="id17" name="id17">Third party package manager requirements</a></li>
64 </ul>
65 </li>
66 <li><a class="reference" href="#transition-phases" id="id18" name="id18">Transition phases</a><ul>
67 <li><a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-transition-phase" id="id19" name="id19">Primary package manager transition phase</a></li>
68 <li><a class="reference" href="#secondary-package-manager-to-candidate-primary-package-manager-transition" id="id20" name="id20">Secondary package manager to candidate primary package manager transition</a></li>
69 <li><a class="reference" href="#third-party-to-other-transition" id="id21" name="id21">Third party to other transition</a></li>
70 </ul>
71 </li>
72 <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id22" name="id22">References</a></li>
73 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id23" name="id23">Copyright</a></li>
74 </ul>
75 </div>
76 <div class="section">
77 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" id="status" name="status">Status</a></h1>
78 <p>The council rejected this GLEP in favor of starting from a package manager
79 API and requiring Gentoo package managers in the tree to support that
80 API. (That API is still pending, however.)</p>
81 </div>
82 <div class="section">
83 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id8" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
84 <p>This GLEP describes four classes of package managers. What the requirements for
85 them are, and what support they can receive.</p>
86 </div>
87 <div class="section">
88 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
89 <p>To set a standard that package managers that seek Gentoo project approval and
90 support should adhere to.</p>
91 </div>
92 <div class="section">
93 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
94 <p>Currently Portage is showing its age. The code of Portage does not seem to be
95 salvageable for new versions. As of the date of publication, there are two known
96 alternative package managers that claim a level of Portage compatibility. These
97 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
98 developed further, a set of rules should be created to level the playing field
99 and ensuring that decisions can be made clearly.</p>
100 </div>
101 <div class="section">
102 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
103 <p>Not a problem for this GLEP. There is no previous standard as the issue did not
104 exist before. This GLEP is to prevent future compatibility issues.</p>
105 </div>
106 <div class="section">
107 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" id="categories-of-package-managers" name="categories-of-package-managers">Categories of package managers</a></h1>
108 <p>We distinguish four categories of package managers. While a package manager can
109 transition from one category to another, it can not be in two categories at the
110 same time. It can be in a state of transition though.</p>
111 <dl class="docutils">
112 <dt><em>Primary Package Manager</em></dt>
113 <dd>There is one primary package manager. Currently this position is held by
114 Portage. The primary package manager is assigned by the council and all
115 packages in the official tree must be installable by a usable version of the
116 primary package manager.</dd>
117 <dt><em>Candidate Primary Package Managers</em></dt>
118 <dd>A candidate Primary Package Manager does aim, or show an aim, at replacing
119 the current primary package manager. At a point where the package manager is
120 deemed stable a decision must be made whether this package manager should
121 become the new primary package manager. At that point the <a class="reference" href="#primary-package-manager-transition-phase">Primary package
122 manager transition phase</a> starts.</dd>
123 <dt><em>Secondary Package Managers</em></dt>
124 <dd><p class="first">A secondary package manager is a package manager that coexists with the
125 primary package manager, while not aiming to replace it. Examples of package
126 managers that would fall into this category are:</p>
127 <ul class="last simple">
128 <li>Experimental package managers. Package managers whose purpose it is to try
129 out new features.</li>
130 <li>Focused package managers. For example a package manager that allows the
131 use of RPM formatted binary packages would be an example.</li>
132 <li>Alternate package managers. Package managers that aim to coexist with the
133 primary package manager. They might for example offer a nicer user
134 interface than the primary package manager (e.g. show a cow instead of
135 compilation messages).</li>
136 </ul>
137 </dd>
138 <dt><em>Third Party Package Managers</em></dt>
139 <dd>A third party package manager is any package manager that lacks recognition
140 from Gentoo as being in any other category. A third party package manager may
141 or may not have a Gentoo package, but is not supported beyond that.</dd>
142 </dl>
143 </div>
144 <div class="section">
145 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" id="package-manager-requirements" name="package-manager-requirements">Package manager requirements</a></h1>
146 <p>As a package manager is in a state of higher support there are higher
147 requirements to it. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure the unity of
148 the distribution and the package tree. For this purpose it is needed that there
149 is only one primary package manager. This is from gentoo's perspective. From a
150 user perspective it is perfectly possible to use another package
151 manager. Candidate primary package managers and secondary package managers are
152 also supported in regards to bugs etc.</p>
153 <div class="section">
154 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" id="primary-package-manager-requirements" name="primary-package-manager-requirements">Primary package manager requirements</a></h2>
155 <p>The primary package manager is the package manager that sets the standards for
156 the tree. All ebuilds in the tree must function with the primary package
157 manager. As the primary package manager sets the standard it does not have to
158 maintain compatibility with other package managers. This does not mean that the
159 actual implementation is the standard, but that the maintainers have the ability
160 to define new standards, together with the other involved gentoo projects.</p>
161 <p>The primary package manager does however have the responsibility that it must be
162 very stable. The primary package manager must maintain compatibility with old
163 versions of itself for extended periods of time. This compatibility time is set
164 by the council. The suggested time would be one year from the point that there
165 is a compatible stable version for all supported architectures.</p>
166 <p>Another compatibility requirement for the primary package manager is a limited
167 forward compatibility. It must always be possible to transition from the
168 unstable version of the primary package manager to a stable version. This may be
169 done either by first introducing reading compatibility for a new format and only
170 having write support later. Another way would be the provision of a conversion
171 tool that ensures that the on disk information maintained by the package manager
172 is supported by the stable package manager.</p>
173 <p>The primary package manager maintainers further have the responsibility to allow
174 competition. This means that reasonable patches from the maintainers of
175 secondary or candidate primary package managers must be applied, given that
176 these patches are as independent of that package manager as possible.</p>
177 <p>The primary package manager is maintained on official Gentoo infrastructure,
178 under control of Gentoo developers.</p>
179 </div>
180 <div class="section">
181 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" id="candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements" name="candidate-primary-package-manager-requirements">Candidate primary package manager requirements</a></h2>
182 <p>A candidate primary package manager aims to replace the primary package
183 manager. The council is responsible for deciding whether this is done. The
184 requirements are there to ensure that it is actually possible to transition a
185 candidate primary package manager into the primary package manager.</p>
186 <p>First of all, there must exist a transition path. This means that the on disk
187 data of the primary package manager can be used by (or converted to a format
188 usable by) the candidate primary package manager.</p>
189 <p>Second, there must be a test path. It must be possible for the developers to
190 test out the candidate primary package manager on their working systems. This
191 means that the transition path must exist. This also means that there are no
192 serious obstacles for reverting to the current primary package manager. This
193 reverting must also be usable when it is decided that the candidate will not
194 become primary package manager, for example because serious design flaws or bugs
195 were found. Ideally, the Candidate Primary Package Manager and the Primary
196 Package Manager can be installed simultaneously. If not, clear instructions must
197 be provided for both ways of transitioning.</p>
198 <p>Third, there must exist an ebuild test path. It must be possible for package
199 managers to test ebuilds in one tree for both the primary as well as the
200 candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue if this requires a special
201 mode for the candidate primary package manager. It is not an issue either if
202 compatibility can be achieved by having the candidate primary package manager
203 unmerge the package.</p>
204 <p>Fourth, there must be support. This means that the package manager is actively
205 maintained under control of Gentoo. If it is not maintained on Gentoo
206 infrastructure, the means must be there to move the package manager, with its
207 change history, to Gentoo infrastructure. This means that it must be maintained
208 on a Gentoo supported versioning system, or on a version system whose history
209 can be converted to a Gentoo supported versioning system.</p>
210 <p>Fifth, release capabilities. There must exist automated tools that use the
211 candidate primary package manager to create release media that have similar
212 capabilities as those released using the old primary package manager. The exact
213 requirements are determined by the Release Engineering project, but should not
214 be significantly beyond what is currently implemented using the primary package
215 manager.</p>
216 </div>
217 <div class="section">
218 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" id="secondary-package-manager-requirements" name="secondary-package-manager-requirements">Secondary package manager requirements</a></h2>
219 <p>A secondary package manager is a package manager that instead of directly aiming
220 at replacing the current primary package manager as primary package manager aims
221 to cooperate with the primary package manager. As such a secondary package
222 manager does not set the standard on the tree, but follows the standard set by
223 the primary package manager.</p>
224 <p>There are two kinds of secondary package managers. The first kind is formed by
225 those that do not maintain their own installed package database, but work with
226 the package database of the primary package manager. While these package
227 managers can put additional information in the database, these entries must
228 remain compatible with the primary package managers. Verification, reference,
229 and deinstallation by the primary package manager must remain functional.</p>
230 <p>The second kind is formed by those package managers that maintain their own
231 package database, or a package database incompatible with the primary package
232 manager. To ensure the secondary role of these package managers the support in
233 the tree for these package managers is provided along with restrictions.</p>
234 <p>The first restriction is that no packages in the tree must rely on the secondary
235 package manager. While packages may provide a level of support (while being
236 compatible with the primary package manager) this may not result in a
237 significant increase of features. If this were allowed, this would mean that
238 while they technically work with the primary package manager, there would be
239 significant incentive to use the secondary package manager. As the use of this
240 secondary package manager disallows the parallel use of the primary package
241 manager, this would result in users using the secondary package manager as their
242 primary package manager.</p>
243 <p>Users are allowed to make their own choices. However by making the tree favour a
244 package manager that is not the primary package manager, this will lead to the
245 secondary package manager becoming the effective primary package manager. As
246 this will be a decision by default instead of a conscious choice by the council,
247 this is an undesirable result.</p>
248 <p>There is one exclusion for the restriction of packages that only work with or
249 have significant improvements with the secondary package manager. That is
250 packages that by their nature are only usable with this secondary package
251 manager. An example would be a graphical front-end to the secondary package
252 manager.</p>
253 <p>If a secondary package manager works along the primary package manager, but by
254 itself does not have the capabilities of becoming a primary package manager the
255 risks of choice by default are lower. As a result, the council could choose to
256 allow the inclusion of packages that work only or significantly better with this
257 secondary package manager. For example at a point where there is a stable,
258 functional, package manager that can handle RPM format packages, the council
259 could decide to include these packages directly in the tree, instead of using
260 wrapper scripts for those packages that are only provided in the RPM
261 format. Such a decision does imply that the maintainers of the primary package
262 manager must take this secondary package manager into account.</p>
263 </div>
264 <div class="section">
265 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="third-party-package-manager-requirements" name="third-party-package-manager-requirements">Third party package manager requirements</a></h2>
266 <p>A third party package manager is just that. It is a package manager without any
267 support within Gentoo. As there is no control by Gentoo over the package manager
268 this means that there are no requirements on the package manager.</p>
269 <p>This complete lack of control however also translates to the fact that Gentoo
270 can not make package manager specific changes to support this package
271 manager. Package manager specific means that it is possible to request changes
272 that make the tree more independent of the primary package manager. These
273 changes must however be agnostic of the package manager, and only make it easier
274 to have alternative package managers.</p>
275 </div>
276 </div>
277 <div class="section">
278 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" id="transition-phases" name="transition-phases">Transition phases</a></h1>
279 <div class="section">
280 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" id="primary-package-manager-transition-phase" name="primary-package-manager-transition-phase">Primary package manager transition phase</a></h2>
281 <p>A candidate primary package manager can be chosen to become primary package
282 manager. This can only happen by council decision. This decision can only be
283 made when the candidate primary package manager is stable on all stable
284 architectures. (all architectures except experimental ones). There is a
285 incubation period of at least 3 months before a candidate primary package
286 manager can become the primary package manager.</p>
287 <p>After the decision has been made to replace the primary package manager, the
288 transition phase starts. The use of the old stable package manager must remain
289 supported for a period of 6 months. This means that core packages must be
290 installable by this package manager. Further the possibility to convert the
291 system automatically to the new primary package manager must be available for at
292 least 18 months, but preferably longer (enable installing the new package
293 manager from the old one).</p>
294 <p>During the transition phase packages are allowed in the tree that use the new
295 features of the new primary package manager. While backward compatibility with
296 the previous primary package manager must be maintained a forward compatibility
297 is no longer needed.</p>
298 </div>
299 <div class="section">
300 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id20" 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>
301 <p>The transition from secondary package manager to candidate primary package
302 manager is straightforward. The secondary package manager must satisfy all
303 requirements for a candidate primary package manager. At that point its
304 maintainers can announce that they are changing the status to candidate primary
305 package manager. This allows a greater support from Gentoo in achieving that
306 goal.</p>
307 </div>
308 <div class="section">
309 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" id="third-party-to-other-transition" name="third-party-to-other-transition">Third party to other transition</a></h2>
310 <p>When a third party package manager wants to transition into one of the other
311 categories (except primary package manager) it must satisfy all requirements for
312 that category.</p>
313 </div>
314 </div>
315 <div class="section">
316 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
317 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id1" rules="none">
318 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
319 <tbody valign="top">
320 <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>
321 </tbody>
322 </table>
323 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id3" rules="none">
324 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
325 <tbody valign="top">
326 <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>
327 </tbody>
328 </table>
329 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id5" rules="none">
330 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
331 <tbody valign="top">
332 <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>
333 </tbody>
334 </table>
335 </div>
336 <div class="section">
337 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id23" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
338 <p>This document is copyright 2006 by Paul de Vrieze and licensed under the
339 <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>
340 </div>
341
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