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1 GLEP: 1
2 Title: GLEP Purpose and Guidelines
3 Version: $Revision: 1.5 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2003/07/02 20:05:42 $
5 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>
6 Status: Draft
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 approves, he will assign the GLEP a number, label it
77 as Standards Track (a better name would be nice here -- suggestions?)
78 or Informational, give it status "Draft", and
79 create and check-in the initial draft of the GLEP. The GLEP editors will
80 not unreasonably deny a GLEP. Reasons for denying GLEP status include
81 duplication of effort, being technically unsound, not providing proper
82 motivation or addressing backwards compatibility, or not in keeping
83 with Gentoo Linux philosophy.
85 If a pre-GLEP is rejected, the author may elect to take the pre-GLEP to the
86 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org mailing list to help flesh it out, gain feedback and
87 consensus from the community at large, and improve the GLEP for re-submission.
89 The author of the GLEP is then responsible for posting the GLEP to the
90 gentoo-dev mailing list and to the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_, and
91 marshaling community support for it. As updates are necessary, the GLEP
92 author can check in new versions if they have CVS commit permissions, or can
93 email new GLEP versions to the GLEP editors for committing.
95 Standards Track GLEPs consist of two parts, a design document and a reference
96 implementation. The GLEP should be reviewed and accepted before a reference
97 implementation is begun, unless a reference implementation will aid people in
98 studying the GLEP. Standards Track GLEPs must include an implementation -- in
99 the form of code, patch, or URL to same -- before it can be considered Final.
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 gentoo-dev@gentoo.org and/or the Gentoo Linux forums [#FORUMS]_ will not be
104 accepted. However, wherever possible, long open-ended discussions on public
105 mailing lists should be avoided. Strategies to keep the discussions efficient
106 include setting up a specific forums thread for the topic, having the GLEP
107 author accept private comments in the early design phases, etc. GLEP authors
108 should use their discretion here.
110 Once the authors have completed a GLEP, they must inform the GLEP editors that
111 it is ready for review. GLEPs are reviewed by the appropriate Gentoo
112 Manager [#MANAGER]_, who may accept or reject a GLEP outright, or
113 send it back to the author(s) for revision. For a GLEP that is pre-determined
114 to be acceptable (e.g., it is an obvious win as-is and/or its implementation
115 has already been checked in) the appropriate Gentoo Manager [#MANAGER]_
116 may also initiate a GLEP review, first notifying the GLEP author(s) and giving
117 them a chance to make revisions.
119 For a GLEP to be accepted it must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a
120 clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement
121 must represent a net improvement. The proposed implementation, if applicable,
122 must be solid and must not complicate the distribution unduly. Finally, a
123 proposed enhancement must satisfy the philosophy of Gentoo Linux.
125 Once a GLEP has been accepted, the reference implementation must be completed.
126 When the reference implementation is complete and accepted, the status will be
127 changed to "Final".
129 A GLEP can also be assigned status "Deferred". The GLEP author or editor can
130 assign the GLEP this status when no progress is being made on the GLEP. Once
131 a GLEP is deferred, the GLEP editor can re-assign it to draft status.
133 A GLEP can also be "Rejected". Perhaps after all is said and done it was not
134 a good idea. It is still important to have a record of this fact.
136 GLEPs can also be replaced by a different GLEP, rendering the original
137 obsolete (where version 2 of a policy, for example, might replace version 1).
139 GLEP work flow is as follows::
141 Draft -> Accepted -> Final -> Replaced
142 ^
143 +----> Rejected
144 v
145 Deferred
147 Some Informational GLEPs may also have a status of "Active" if they are never
148 meant to be completed. E.g. GLEP 1 (this GLEP).
151 What belongs in a successful GLEP?
152 ==================================
154 Each GLEP should have the following parts:
156 1. 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.
161 2. Abstract -- a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue
162 being addressed.
164 3. Motivation -- The motivation is critical for GLEPs that want to
165 modify 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.
170 4. 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?
175 5. 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.
183 6. 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.
190 7. 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.
196 8. 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].
201 GLEP Formating and Template
202 ===========================
204 GLEPs are written either in Gentoo Linux Guide-XML [#GUIDEXML]_ or in
205 a just-barely-marked-up version of plain ASCII text
206 called ReStructuredText [#ReSTHOME]_ that is then converted to HTML using
207 Docutils [#DOCUTILS]_. Using ReStructuredText GLEPs allows for rich markup
208 that is still quite easy to read, but results in much better-looking and more
209 functional HTML. Moreover, it should be straightforward to convert GLEPs to
210 Gentoo Linux guide xml [#GUIDEXML]_ if needed. GLEP 2 contains a boilerplate
211 template [#ReST]_ for use with ReStructuredText GLEPs.
214 GLEP Header Preamble
215 ====================
217 Each GLEP must begin with an RFC 2822 style header preamble. The headers
218 must appear in the following order. Headers marked with "*" are
219 optional and are described below. All other headers are required. ::
221 GLEP: <glep number>
222 Title: <glep title>
223 Version: <cvs version string>
224 Last-Modified: <cvs date string>
225 Author: <list of authors' real names and optionally, email addrs>
226 * Discussions-To: <email address>
227 Status: <Draft | Active | Accepted | Deferred | Rejected |
228 Final | Replaced>
229 Type: <Informational | Standards Track>
230 * Content-Type: <text/plain | text/x-rst>
231 * Requires: <glep numbers>
232 Created: <date created on, in dd-mmm-yyyy format>
233 Post-History: <dates of postings to gentoo-dev>
234 * Replaces: <glep number>
235 * Replaced-By: <glep number>
237 The Author header lists the names, and optionally the email addresses
238 of all the authors/owners of the GLEP. The format of the Author header
239 value must be
241 Random J. User <address@dom.ain>
243 if the email address is included, and just
245 Random J. User
247 if the address is not given.
249 If there are multiple authors, each should be on a separate line
250 following RFC 2822 continuation line conventions. Note that personal
251 email addresses in GLEPs will be obscured as a defense against spam
252 harvesters.
254 While a GLEP is in private discussions (usually during the initial Draft
255 phase), a Discussions-To header will indicate the mailing list or URL where
256 the GLEP is being discussed. No Discussions-To header is necessary if the
257 GLEP is being discussed privately with the author, or on the gentoo-dev
258 mailing list. Note that email addresses in the Discussions-To header will not
259 be obscured.
261 The Type header specifies the type of GLEP: Informational or Standards
262 Track.
264 The format of a GLEP is specified with a Content-Type header, which
265 should read "text/xml" for Gentoo Guide XML or
266 "text/x-rst" for ReStructuredText GLEPs (see GLEP 2
267 [#ReST]_).
269 The Created header records the date that the GLEP was assigned a number, while
270 Post-History is used to record the dates of when new versions of the GLEP are
271 posted to gentoo-dev. Both headers should be in dd-mmm-yyyy format, e.g.
272 14-Aug-2001.
274 GLEPs may have a Requires header, indicating the GLEP numbers that this GLEP
275 depends on.
277 GLEPs may also have a Replaced-By header indicating that a GLEP has been
278 rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the GLEP
279 that replaces the current document. The newer GLEP must have a Replaces
280 header containing the number of the GLEP that it rendered obsolete.
283 Reporting GLEP Bugs, or Submitting GLEP Updates
284 ===============================================
286 How you report a bug, or submit a GLEP update depends on several factors, such
287 as the maturity of the GLEP, the preferences of the GLEP author, and the
288 nature of your comments. For the early draft stages of the GLEP, it's
289 probably best to send your comments and changes directly to the GLEP author.
290 For more mature, or finished GLEPs you may want to submit corrections to the
291 Gentoo Linux bugzilla [#BUGS]_ so that your changes don't get lost. If the GLEP
292 author is a Gentoo Linux developer, assign the bug/patch to him, otherwise
293 assign it to the GLEP editors.
295 When in doubt about where to send your changes, please check first with the
296 GLEP author and/or GLEP editors.
298 GLEP authors who are also Gentoo Linux developers can update the GLEPs
299 themselves by using "cvs commit" to commit their changes.
301 Transferring GLEP Ownership
302 ===========================
304 It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of GLEPs to a new
305 champion. In general, we'd like to retain the original author as a co-author
306 of the transferred GLEP, but that's really up to the original author. A good
307 reason to transfer ownership is because the original author no longer has the
308 time or interest in updating it or following through with the GLEP process, or
309 has fallen off the face of the 'net (i.e. is unreachable or not responding to
310 email). A bad reason to transfer ownership is because you don't agree with
311 the direction of the GLEP. We try to build consensus around a GLEP, but if
312 that's not possible, you can always submit a competing GLEP.
314 If you are interested in assuming ownership of a GLEP, send a message asking
315 to take over, addressed to both the original author and the GLEP editors
316 <glep@gentoo.org>. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a
317 timely manner, the GLEP editors will make a unilateral decision (it's not like
318 such decisions can't be reversed :).
321 References and Footnotes
322 ========================
324 .. [#PYTHON] http://www.python.org
326 .. [#PEPS] http://www.python.org/peps
328 .. [#PEP1] http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0001.html
330 .. [#CVS] This historical record is available by the normal CVS commands
331 for retrieving older revisions. For those without direct access to the CVS
332 tree, you can browse the current and past GLEP revisions via the Gentoo
333 Linux viewcvs web site at
334 http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/
336 .. [#ReST] GLEP 2, Sample ReStructuredText GLEP Template,
337 (http://glep.gentoo.org/glep-0002.html)
339 .. [#BUGS] http://bugs.gentoo.org
341 .. [#FORUMS] http://forums.gentoo.org
343 .. [#MANAGER] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml
345 .. [#OPL] http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/
347 .. [#ReSTHOME] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html
349 .. [#GUIDEXML] http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml
351 .. [#DOCUTILS] http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
354 Copyright
355 =========
357 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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