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2     Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3     Version: $Revision: 1.8 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/04/04 23:05:35 $
5     Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6     Status: Active
7     Type: Informational
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 31-May-2003
10     Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003
13     Credits
14     =======
16     The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
17     is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
18     [#PEPS]_, especially
19     PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
21     What is a GLEP?
22     ===============
24     GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
25     document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
26     a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
27     specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
29     We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
30     features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
31     documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
32     author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
33     documenting dissenting opinions.
35     Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
36     revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
37     [#CVS]_.
40     Kinds of GLEPs
41     ==============
43     There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
44     or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
45     general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
46     propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
47     Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
48     are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
51     GLEP Work Flow
52     ==============
54     The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
55     GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
56     GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
58     The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
59     recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
60     more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
61     reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
62     too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
64     Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
65     and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
66     forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
67     champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
68     GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
69     injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
70     submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
72     The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
73     proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
74     must be written in GLEP style as described below.
76     If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
77     it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
78     Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
79     draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
80     Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
81     technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
82     compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
84     If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
85     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
86     consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
88     The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
89     gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
90     marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
91     author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
92     email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
94     Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
95     implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
96     implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
97     studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
98     the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
100     GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
101     before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
102     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
103     accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
104     mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
105     include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
106     author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
107     should use their discretion here.
109     Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
110     it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
111     Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
112     send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
113     to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
114     has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
115     may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
116     them a chance to make revisions.
118     For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
119     clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
120     must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
121     must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
122     proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
124     Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
125     When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
126     changed to "Final".
128     A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
129     assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
130     a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
132     A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
133     a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
135     GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
136     obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
138     GLEP work flow is as follows::
140     Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
141     ^
142     +----> Rejected
143     v
144     Deferred
146     Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
147     meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
150     What belongs in a successful GLEP?
151     ==================================
153     Each GLEP should have the following parts:
155     1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
156     GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
157     to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
158     contact info for each author, etc.
160     2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
161     being addressed.
163     3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
164     modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
165     existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
166     the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
167     rejected outright.
169     4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
170     specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
171     functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
172     affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
174     5. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
175     describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
176     were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
177     related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
179     The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
180     discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
182     6. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
183     must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
184     and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
185     with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
186     be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
187     sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
189     7. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
190     completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
191     completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
192     specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
193     code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
195     8. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
196     labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
197     licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
200     GLEP Formating and Template
201     ===========================
203     GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
204     a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
205     called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
206     Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
207     that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
208     functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
209     Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
210     template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
213     GLEP Header Preamble
214     ====================
216     Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
217     must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
218     optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
220     GLEP: <glep number>
221     Title: <glep title>
222     Version: <cvs version string>
223     Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
224     Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
225     * Discussions-To: <email address>
226     Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
227     Final | Replaced>
228     Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
229     * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
230     * Requires: <glep numbers>
231     Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
232     Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
233     * Replaces: <glep number>
234     * Replaced-By: <glep number>
236     The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
237     of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
238     value must be
240     Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
242     if the email address is included, and just
244     Random J. User
246     if the address is not given.
248     If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
249     following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
250     email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
251     harvesters.
253     While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
254     phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
255     the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
256     GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
257     mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
258     be obscured.
260     The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
261     Track.
263     The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
264     should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
265     "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
266     [#ReST]_).
268     The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
269     Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
270     posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
271     14-Aug-2001.
273     GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
274     depends on.
276     GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
277     rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
278     that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
279     header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
282     Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
283     ===============================================
285     How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
286     as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
287     nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
288     probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
289     For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
290     Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
291     author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
292     assign it to the GLEP editors.
294     When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
295     GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
297     GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
298     themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
300     Transferring GLEP Ownership
301     ===========================
303     It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
304     champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
305     of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
306     reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
307     time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
308     has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
309     email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
310     the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
311     that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
313     If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
314     to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
315     <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
316     timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
317     such decisions can't be reversed :).
320     References and Footnotes
321     ========================
323     .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
325     .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
327     .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
329     .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
330     for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
331     tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
332     Linux viewcvs web site at
333     http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
335     .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
336     (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
338     .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
340     .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
342     .. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
344     .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
346     .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
348     .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
350     .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
353     Copyright
354     =========
356     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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