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1GLEP: 1
2Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3Version: $Revision: 1.4 $
4Last-Modified: $Date: 2003/06/10 17:33:02 $
5Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6Status: Draft
7Type: Informational
8Content-Type: text/x-rst
9Created: 31-May-2003
10Post-History: 1-Jun-2003
16The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
17is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
18[#PEPS]_, especially
19PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
21What is a GLEP?
24GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
25document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
26a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
27specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
29We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
30features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
31documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
32author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
33documenting dissenting opinions.
35Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
36revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
40Kinds of GLEPs
43There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
44or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
45general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
46propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
47Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
48are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
51GLEP Work Flow
54The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
55GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and hopefully somebody else. Please send all
56GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
58The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
59recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
60more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
61reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
62too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
64Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
65and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
66forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
67champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
68GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
69injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
70submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
72The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editor <glep@gentoo.org> with a
73proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
74must be written in GLEP style as described below.
76If the GLEP editor approves, he will assign the GLEP a number, label it
77as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?)
78or Informational, give it status "Draft", and
79create and check-in the initial draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will
80not unreasonably deny a GLEP. Reasons for denying GLEP status include
81duplication of effort, being technically unsound, not providing proper
82motivation or addressing backwards compatibility, or not in keeping
83with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
85If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
86gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
87consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
89The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
90gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
91marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
92author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
93email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
95Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
96implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
97implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
98studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
99the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
101GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
102before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
103gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
104accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
105mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
106include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
107author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
108should use their discretion here.
110Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
111it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the Gentoo Linux Chief
112Architect or Development Manager, who may accept or reject a GLEP outright, or
113send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
114to be acceptable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
115has already been checked in) the Chief Architect or the Development Manager
116may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
117them a chance to make revisions.
119For a GLEP to be accepted it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
120clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
121must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
122must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
123proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
125Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
126When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
127changed to "Final".
129A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
130assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
131a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
133A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
134a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
136GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
137obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
139GLEP work flow is as follows::
141 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
142 ^
143 +----> Rejected
144 v
145 Deferred
147Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
148meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
151What belongs in a successful GLEP?
154Each GLEP should have the following parts:
1561. Preamble -- RFC 822 style headers containing meta-data about the
157 GLEP, including the GLEP number, a short descriptive title (limited
158 to a maximum of 44 characters), the names, and optionally the
159 contact info for each author, etc.
1612. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
162 being addressed.
1643. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
165 change the Gentoo Linux functionality. It should clearly explain why the
166 existing functionality or policy is inadequate to address the problem that
167 the GLEP solves. GLEP submissions without sufficient motivation may be
168 rejected outright.
1704. Specification -- The technical specification should describe the
171 specific areas of Gentoo Linux that would be touched by this GLEP. If new
172 functionality is being introduced, what packages will that functionality
173 affect? If new policy, who will be affected?
1755. Rationale -- The rationale fleshes out the specification by
176 describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions
177 were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and
178 related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other distributions.
180 The rationale should provide evidence of consensus within the community and
181 discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
1836. Backwards Compatibility -- All GLEPs
184 must include a section describing any issues of backwards incompatibilities
185 and their severity. The GLEP must explain how the author proposes to deal
186 with these incompatibilities. (Even if there are none, this section should
187 be included to clearly state that fact.) GLEP submissions without a
188 sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected outright.
1907. Reference Implementation -- The reference implementation must be
191 completed before any GLEP is given status "Final", but it need not be
192 completed before the GLEP is accepted. It is better to finish the
193 specification and rationale first and reach consensus on it before writing
194 code or significantly modifying ebuilds.
1968. Copyright/public domain -- Each GLEP must either be explicitly
197 labelled as placed in the public domain (see this GLEP as an example) or
198 licensed under the Open Publication License [#OPL].
201GLEP Formating and Template
204GLEPs are written in a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
205called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
206Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
207that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
208functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
209Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
210template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
213GLEP Header Preamble
216Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
217must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
218optional 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>
236The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
237of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
238value must be
240 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
242if the email address is included, and just
244 Random J. User
246if the address is not given.
248If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
249following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
250email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
253While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
254phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
255the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
256GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
257mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
258be obscured.
260The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
263The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which for now
264should always read "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
267The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
268Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
269posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
272GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
273depends on.
275GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
276rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
277that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
278header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
281Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
284How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
285as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
286nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
287probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
288For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
289Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
290author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
291assign it to the GLEP editors.
293When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
294GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
296GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
297themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
299Transferring GLEP Ownership
302It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
303champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
304of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
305reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
306time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
307has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
308email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
309the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
310that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
312If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
313to 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
315timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
316such decisions can't be reversed :).
319References and Footnotes
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://cvs.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.. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
343.. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
345.. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
347.. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
353This document has been placed in the public domain.

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