Contents of /xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0001.txt

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GLEP-0039 does NOT replace GLEP-0001

1 peper 1.10 GLEP: 1
2     Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 dev-zero 1.12 Version: $Revision: 1.11 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2008/01/20 02:56:39 $
5 peper 1.10 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6     Status: Active
7     Type: Informational
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 31-May-2003
10 dev-zero 1.12 Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003, 19-Jan-2008, 05-Jun-2008
11 peper 1.10
12     Credits
13     =======
15     The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
16     is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
17     [#PEPS]_, especially
18     PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
20     What is a GLEP?
21     ===============
23     GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
24     document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
25     a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
26     specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
28     We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
29     features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
30     documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
31     author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
32     documenting dissenting opinions.
34     Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
35     revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
36     [#CVS]_.
39     Kinds of GLEPs
40     ==============
42     There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
43     or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
44     general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
45     propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
46     Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
47     are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
50     GLEP Work Flow
51     ==============
53     The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
54     GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
55     GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
57     The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
58     recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
59     more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
60     reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
61     too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
63     Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
64     and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
65     forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
66     champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
67     GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
68     injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
69     submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
71     The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
72     proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
73     must be written in GLEP style as described below.
75     If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
76     it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
77     Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
78     draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
79     Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
80     technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
81     compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
83     If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
84     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
85     consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87     The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
88     gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
89     marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
90     author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
91     email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
93     Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
94     implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
95     implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
96     studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
97     the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
99     GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
100     before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
101     gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
102     accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
103     mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
104     include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
105     author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
106     should use their discretion here.
108     Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
109     it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
110     Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
111     send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
112     to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
113     has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
114     may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
115     them a chance to make revisions.
117     For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
118     clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
119     must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
120     must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
121     proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
123     Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
124     When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
125     changed to "Final".
127     A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
128     assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
129     a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
131     A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
132     a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
134     GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
135     obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
137     GLEP work flow is as follows::
139     Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
140     ^
141     +----> Rejected
142     v
143     Deferred
145     Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
146     meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
149     What belongs in a successful GLEP?
150     ==================================
152     Each GLEP should have the following parts:
154     1. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
155     GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
156     to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
157     contact info for each author, etc.
159     2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
160     being addressed.
162     3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
163     modify Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
164     existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
165     the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
166     rejected outright.
168     4. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
169     specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
170     functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
171     affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
173     5. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
174     describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
175     were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
176     related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
178     The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
179     discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
181     6. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
182     must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
183     and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
184     with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
185     be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
186     sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
188     7. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
189     completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
190     completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
191     specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
192     code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
194     8. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
195     labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
196     licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
199     GLEP Formating and Template
200     ===========================
202     GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
203     a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
204     called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
205     Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
206     that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
207     functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
208     Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
209     template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
212     GLEP Header Preamble
213     ====================
215     Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
216     must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
217     optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
219     GLEP: <glep number>
220     Title: <glep title>
221     Version: <cvs version string>
222     Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
223     Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
224     * Discussions-To: <email address>
225     Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
226     Final | Replaced>
227     Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
228     * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
229     * Requires: <glep numbers>
230     Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
231     Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
232     * Replaces: <glep number>
233     * Replaced-By: <glep number>
235     The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
236     of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
237     value must be
239     Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
241     if the email address is included, and just
243     Random J. User
245     if the address is not given.
247     If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
248     following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
249     email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
250     harvesters.
252     While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
253     phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
254     the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
255     GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
256     mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
257     be obscured.
259     The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
260     Track.
262     The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
263     should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
264     "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
265     [#ReST]_).
267     The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
268     Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
269     posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
270     14-Aug-2001.
272     GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
273     depends on.
275     GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
276     rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
277     that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
278     header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
281     Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
282     ===============================================
284     How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
285     as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
286     nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
287     probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
288     For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
289     Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
290     author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
291     assign it to the GLEP editors.
293     When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
294     GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
296     GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
297     themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
299     Transferring GLEP Ownership
300     ===========================
302     It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
303     champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
304     of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
305     reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
306     time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
307     has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
308     email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
309     the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
310     that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
312     If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
313     to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
314     <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
315     timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
316     such decisions can't be reversed :).
319     References and Footnotes
320     ========================
322     .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
324     .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
326     .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
328     .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
329     for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
330     tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
331     Linux viewcvs web site at
332     http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
334     .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
335     (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
337     .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
339     .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
341     .. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
343     .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
345     .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
347     .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
349     .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
352     Copyright
353     =========
355     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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