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1 GLEP: 1
2 Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 Version: $Revision: 1.1 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2003/05/31 15:18:03 $
5 Author: Grant Goodyear
6 Status: Draft
7 Type: Informational
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 31 May 2003
10 Post-History:
11
12
13 What is a GLEP?
14 ==============
15
16 GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
17 document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
18 a new feature for Gentoo Linux. (The GLEP concept, and, in fact,
19 much of the text of this document, is liberally stolen from Python's
20 `PEP-0001`_.) The GLEP should provide a concise technical
21 specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
22
23 We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing new
24 features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
25 documenting the design decisions that have gone into Python. The GLEP
26 author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
27 documenting dissenting opinions.
28
29 Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
30 revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
31 [1]_.
32
33
34 Kinds of GLEPs
35 =============
36
37 There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new
38 feature or implementation for Python. An Informational GLEP describes
39 a Python design issue, or provides general guidelines or information
40 to the Python community, but does not propose a new feature.
41 Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a Python community
42 consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors are free to
43 ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
44
45
46 GLEP Work Flow
47 =============
48
49 The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The
50 current GLEP editors are David Goodger and Barry Warsaw. Please send
51 all GLEP-related email to <peps@python.org>.
52
53 The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Python. It is highly
54 recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new
55 idea. The more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to
56 be. The GLEP editor reserves the right to reject GLEP proposals if they
57 appear too unfocussed or too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into
58 several well-focussed ones.
59
60 Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the
61 style and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the
62 appropriate forums, and attempts to build community consensus around
63 the idea. The GLEP champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to
64 ascertain whether the idea is GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches
65 often don't need a GLEP and can be injected into the Python development
66 work flow with a patch submission to the SourceForge `patch manager`_
67 or `feature request tracker`_.
68
69 The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editor <peps@python.org> with a
70 proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This
71 draft must be written in GLEP style as described below.
72
73 If the GLEP editor approves, he will assign the GLEP a number, label it
74 as Standards Track or Informational, give it status "Draft", and
75 create and check-in the initial draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editor will
76 not unreasonably deny a GLEP. Reasons for denying GLEP status include
77 duplication of effort, being technically unsound, not providing proper
78 motivation or addressing backwards compatibility, or not in keeping
79 with the Python philosophy. The BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life,
80 Guido van Rossum) can be consulted during the approval phase, and is
81 the final arbitrator of the draft's GLEP-ability.
82
83 If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to
84 the comp.lang.python newsgroup (a.k.a. python-list@python.org mailing
85 list) to help flesh it out, gain feedback and consensus from the
86 community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87
88 The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
89 community forums, and marshaling community support for it. As updates
90 are necessary, the GLEP author can check in new versions if they have
91 CVS commit permissions, or can email new GLEP versions to the GLEP
92 editor for committing.
93
94 Standards Track GLEPs consists of two parts, a design document and a
95 reference implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted
96 before a reference implementation is begun, unless a reference
97 implementation will aid people in studying the GLEP. Standards Track
98 GLEPs must include an implementation -- in the form of code, patch, or
99 URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
100
101 GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
102 before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
103 python-list@python.org and/or python-dev@python.org will not be
104 accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on
105 public mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the
106 discussions efficient include, setting up a separate SIG mailing list
107 for the topic, having the GLEP author accept private comments in the
108 early design phases, etc. GLEP authors should use their discretion
109 here.
110
111 Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editor
112 that it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the BDFL and his
113 chosen consultants, who may accept or reject a GLEP or send it back to
114 the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined to be
115 acceptable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
116 has already been checked in) the BDFL may also initiate a GLEP review,
117 first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving them a chance to make
118 revisions.
119
120 For a GLEP to be accepted it must meet certain minimum criteria. It
121 must be a clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement.
122 The enhancement must represent a net improvement. The proposed
123 implementation, if applicable, must be solid and must not complicate
124 the interpreter unduly. Finally, a proposed enhancement must be
125 "pythonic" in order to be accepted by the BDFL. (However, "pythonic"
126 is an imprecise term; it may be defined as whatever is acceptable to
127 the BDFL. This logic is intentionally circular.) See GLEP 2 [2]_ for
128 standard library module acceptance criteria.
129
130 Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be
131 completed. When the reference implementation is complete and accepted
132 by the BDFL, the status will be changed to "Final".
133
134 A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or
135 editor can assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made
136 on the GLEP. Once a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it
137 to draft status.
138
139 A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it
140 was not a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this
141 fact.
142
143 GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
144 obsolete. This is intended for Informational GLEPs, where version 2 of
145 an API can replace version 1.
146
147 GLEP work flow is as follows::
148
149 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
150 ^
151 +----> Rejected
152 v
153 Deferred
154
155 Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are
156 never meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
157
158
159 What belongs in a successful GLEP?
160 =================================
161
162 Each GLEP should have the following parts:
163
164 1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
165 GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
166 to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
167 contact info for each author, etc.
168
169 2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
170 being addressed.
171
172 3. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
173 labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an
174 example) or licensed under the `Open Publication License`_.
175
176 4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
177 syntax and semantics of any new language feature. The
178 specification should be detailed enough to allow competing,
179 interoperable implementations for any of the current Python
180 platforms (CPython, Jython, Python .NET).
181
182 5. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
183 change the Python language. It should clearly explain why the
184 existing language specification is inadequate to address the
185 problem that the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient
186 motivation may be rejected outright.
187
188 6. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
189 describing what motivated the design and why particular design
190 decisions were made. It should describe alternate designs that
191 were considered and related work, e.g. how the feature is supported
192 in other languages.
193
194 The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the
195 community and discuss important objections or concerns raised
196 during discussion.
197
198 7. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs that introduce backwards
199 incompatibilities must include a section describing these
200 incompatibilities and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the
201 author proposes to deal with these incompatibilities. GLEP
202 submissions without a sufficient backwards compatibility treatise
203 may be rejected outright.
204
205 8. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
206 completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not
207 be completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish
208 the specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it
209 before writing code.
210
211 The final implementation must include test code and documentation
212 appropriate for either the Python language reference or the
213 standard library reference.
214
215
216 GLEP Formats and Templates
217 =========================
218
219 There are two GLEP formats available to authors: plaintext and
220 reStructuredText_.
221
222 Plaintext GLEPs are written in plain ASCII text, contain minimal
223 structural markup, and should adhere to a rigid style. GLEP 9 contains
224 a boilerplate template [3]_ you can use to get started writing your
225 plaintext GLEP.
226
227 ReStructuredText_ GLEPs allow for rich markup that is still quite easy
228 to read, but results in much better-looking and more functional HTML.
229 GLEP 12 contains a boilerplate template [4]_ for use with
230 reStructuredText GLEPs.
231
232 There is a Python script that converts both styles of GLEPs to HTML for
233 viewing on the web [5]_. Parsing and conversion of plaintext GLEPs is
234 self-contained within the script. reStructuredText GLEPs are parsed
235 and converted by Docutils_ code called from the script.
236
237
238 GLEP Header Preamble
239 ===================
240
241 Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 822 style header preamble. The headers
242 must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
243 optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
244
245 GLEP: <pep number>
246 Title: <pep title>
247 Version: <cvs version string>
248 Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
249 Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
250 * Discussions-To: <email address>
251 Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
252 Final | Replaced>
253 Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
254 * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
255 * Requires: <pep numbers>
256 Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
257 * Python-Version: <version number>
258 Post-History: <dates of postings to python-list and python-dev>
259 * Replaces: <pep number>
260 * Replaced-By: <pep number>
261
262 The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
263 of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
264 value must be
265
266 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
267
268 if the email address is included, and just
269
270 Random J. User
271
272 if the address is not given. For historical reasons the format
273 "address@dom.ain (Random J. User)" may appear in a GLEP, however new
274 GLEPs must use the mandated format above, and it is acceptable to
275 change to this format when GLEPs are updated.
276
277 If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
278 following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
279 email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
280 harvesters.
281
282 While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial
283 Draft phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list
284 or URL where the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is
285 necessary if the GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or
286 on the python-list or python-dev email mailing lists. Note that email
287 addresses in the Discussions-To header will not be obscured.
288
289 The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
290 Track.
291
292 The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header. The
293 acceptable values are "text/plain" for plaintext GLEPs (see GLEP 9 [3]_)
294 and "text/x-rst" for reStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 12 [4]_).
295 Plaintext ("text/plain") is the default if no Content-Type header is
296 present.
297
298 The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a
299 number, while Post-History is used to record the dates of when new
300 versions of the GLEP are posted to python-list and/or python-dev. Both
301 headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g. 14-Aug-2001.
302
303 Standards Track GLEPs must have a Python-Version header which indicates
304 the version of Python that the feature will be released with.
305 Informational GLEPs do not need a Python-Version header.
306
307 GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this
308 GLEP depends on.
309
310 GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
311 rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the
312 GLEP that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a
313 Replaces header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered
314 obsolete.
315
316
317 Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
318 =============================================
319
320 How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several
321 factors, such as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP
322 author, and the nature of your comments. For the early draft stages
323 of the GLEP, it's probably best to send your comments and changes
324 directly to the GLEP author. For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may
325 want to submit corrections to the SourceForge `bug manager`_ or better
326 yet, the SourceForge `patch manager`_ so that your changes don't get
327 lost. If the GLEP author is a SF developer, assign the bug/patch to
328 him, otherwise assign it to the GLEP editor.
329
330 When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first
331 with the GLEP author and/or GLEP editor.
332
333 GLEP authors who are also SF committers, can update the GLEPs themselves
334 by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes. Remember to also push
335 the formatted GLEP text out to the web by doing the following::
336
337 % python pep2html.py -i NUM
338
339 where NUM is the number of the GLEP you want to push out. See ::
340
341 % python pep2html.py --help
342
343 for details.
344
345
346 Transferring GLEP Ownership
347 ==========================
348
349 It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a
350 new champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as
351 a co-author of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the
352 original author. A good reason to transfer ownership is because the
353 original author no longer has the time or interest in updating it or
354 following through with the GLEP process, or has fallen off the face of
355 the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to email). A bad
356 reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with the
357 direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
358 that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
359
360 If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message
361 asking to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP
362 editor <peps@python.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to
363 email in a timely manner, the GLEP editor will make a unilateral
364 decision (it's not like such decisions can't be reversed :).
365
366
367 References and Footnotes
368 ========================
369
370 .. _PEP-0001: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
371 .. [1] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
372 for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to
373 the CVS tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via
374 the SourceForge web site at
375 http://cvs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/python/python/nondist/peps/
376
377 .. [2] GLEP 2, Procedure for Adding New Modules, Faassen
378 (http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0002.html)
379
380 .. [3] GLEP 9, Sample Plaintext GLEP Template, Warsaw
381 (http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0009.html)
382
383 .. [4] GLEP 12, Sample reStructuredText GLEP Template, Goodger, Warsaw
384 (http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0012.html)
385
386 .. [5] The script referred to here is pep2html.py, which lives in the
387 same directory in the CVS tree as the GLEPs themselves. Try
388 ``pep2html.py --help`` for details. The URL for viewing GLEPs on
389 the web is http://www.python.org/peps/.
390
391 .. _patch manager:
392 http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=5470&atid=305470
393
394 .. _feature request tracker:
395 http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?atid=355470&group_id=5470&func=browse
396
397 .. _Open Publication License: http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
398
399 .. _reStructuredText: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
400
401 .. _Docutils: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
402
403 .. _bug manager:
404 http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=5470&atid=105470
405
406
407 Copyright
408 =========
409
410 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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