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1GLEP: 1
2Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3Version: $Revision: 1.12 $
4Last-Modified: $Date: 2008/06/05 06:05:32 $
5Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6Status: Active
7Type: Informational
8Content-Type: text/x-rst
9Created: 31-May-2003
10Post-History: 1-Jun-2003, 2-Jul-2003, 19-Jan-2008, 05-Jun-2008
15The GLEP concept, and, in fact, much of the text of this document,
16is liberally stolen from Python's [#Python]_ PEPs
17[#PEPS]_, especially
18PEP-0001 [#PEP1]_ by Barry A. Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger.
20What is a GLEP?
23GLEP stands for "Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposal". A GLEP is a design
24document providing information to the Gentoo Linux community, or describing
25a new feature for Gentoo Linux. The GLEP should provide a concise technical
26specification of the feature and rationale for the feature.
28We intend GLEPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing *significant* new
29features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for
30documenting the design decisions that have gone into Gentoo Linux. The GLEP
31author is responsible for building consensus within the community and
32documenting dissenting opinions.
34Because the GLEPs are maintained as text files under CVS control, their
35revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal
39Kinds of GLEPs
42There are two kinds of GLEPs. A Standards Track GLEP describes a new feature
43or implementation for Gentoo Linux. An Informational GLEP describes provides
44general guidelines or information to the Gentoo Linux community, but does not
45propose a new feature. Informational GLEPs do not necessarily represent a
46Gentoo Linux community consensus or recommendation, so users and implementors
47are free to ignore Informational GLEPs or follow their advice.
50GLEP Work Flow
53The GLEP editors assign GLEP numbers and change their status. The current
54GLEP editors are Grant Goodyear and Alastair Tse. Please send all
55GLEP-related email to <glep@gentoo.org>.
57The GLEP process begins with a new idea for Gentoo Linux. It is highly
58recommended that a single GLEP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The
59more focussed the GLEP, the more successful it tends to be. The GLEP editors
60reserve the right to reject GLEP proposals if they appear too unfocussed or
61too broad. If in doubt, split your GLEP into several well-focussed ones.
63Each GLEP must have a champion -- someone who writes the GLEP using the style
64and format described below, shepherds the discussions in the appropriate
65forums, and attempts to build community consensus around the idea. The GLEP
66champion (a.k.a. Author) should first attempt to ascertain whether the idea is
67GLEP-able. Small enhancements or patches often don't need a GLEP and can be
68injected into the Gentoo Linux development work flow with an enhancement "bug"
69submitted to the Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_.
71The GLEP champion then emails the GLEP editors <glep@gentoo.org> with a
72proposed title and a rough, but fleshed out, draft of the GLEP. This draft
73must be written in GLEP style as described below.
75If the GLEP editor accepts the GLEP, he will assign the GLEP a number, label
76it as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?) or
77Informational, give it status "Draft", and create and check-in the initial
78draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will not unreasonably deny a GLEP.
79Reasons for denying GLEP status include duplication of effort, being
80technically unsound, not providing proper motivation or addressing backwards
81compatibility, or not in keeping with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
83If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
84gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
85consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
87The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
88gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
89marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
90author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
91email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
93Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
94implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
95implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
96studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
97the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
99GLEP authors are responsible for collecting community feedback on a GLEP
100before submitting it for review. A GLEP that has not been discussed on
101gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
102accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
103mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
104include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
105author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
106should use their discretion here.
108Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
109it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
110Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may approve or reject a GLEP outright, or
111send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
112to be approvable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
113has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
114may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
115them a chance to make revisions.
117For a GLEP to be approved it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
118clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
119must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
120must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
121proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
123Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
124When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
125changed to "Final".
127A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
128assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
129a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
131A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
132a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
134GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
135obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
137GLEP work flow is as follows::
139 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
140 ^
141 +----> Rejected
142 v
143 Deferred
145Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
146meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
149What belongs in a successful GLEP?
152Each GLEP should have the following parts:
1541. 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.
1592. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
160 being addressed.
1623. 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.
1684. 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?
1735. 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.
1816. 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.
1887. 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.
1948. 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].
199GLEP Formating and Template
202GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
203a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
204called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
205Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
206that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
207functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
208Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
209template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
212GLEP Header Preamble
215Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
216must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
217optional 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>
235The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
236of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
237value must be
239 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
241if the email address is included, and just
243 Random J. User
245if the address is not given.
247If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
248following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
249email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
252While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
253phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
254the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
255GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
256mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
257be obscured.
259The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
262The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
263should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
264"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://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/
355This document has been placed in the public domain.

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