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12 <title>GLEP 42 -- Critical News Reporting</title>
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259 <table class="navigation" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"
260 width="100%" border="0">
261 <tr><td class="navicon" width="150" height="35">
262 <a href="http://www.gentoo.org/" title="Gentoo Linux Home Page">
263 <img src="http://www.gentoo.org/images/gentoo-new.gif" alt="[Gentoo]"
264 border="0" width="150" height="35" /></a></td>
265 <td class="textlinks" align="left">
266 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/">Gentoo Linux Home</a></b>]
267 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/">GLEP Index</a></b>]
268 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0042.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
269 </td></tr></table>
270 <table class="rfc2822 docutils field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
271 <col class="field-name" />
272 <col class="field-body" />
273 <tbody valign="top">
274 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">42</td>
275 </tr>
276 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Critical News Reporting</td>
277 </tr>
278 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.12</td>
279 </tr>
280 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Ciaran McCreesh &lt;ciaranm&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,
281 Stephen Bennett &lt;spb&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,
282 Zach Medico &lt;zmedico&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
283 </tr>
284 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0042.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2006/09/05 20:36:38</a></td>
285 </tr>
286 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Draft</td>
287 </tr>
288 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
289 </tr>
290 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
291 </tr>
292 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">31-Oct-2005</td>
293 </tr>
294 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">1-Nov-2005, 5-Nov-2005, 7-Nov-2005, 11-Dec-2005, 13-Dec-2005, 18-Dec-2005, 5-Jan-2006, 2-Mar-2006, 6-Mar-2006, 12-Jun-2006, 5-Sep-2006</td>
295 </tr>
296 </tbody>
297 </table>
298 <hr />
299 <div class="contents topic">
300 <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
301 <ul class="simple">
302 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id22" name="id22">Abstract</a></li>
303 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id23" name="id23">Motivation</a></li>
304 <li><a class="reference" href="#requirements" id="id24" name="id24">Requirements</a></li>
305 <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id25" name="id25">Specification</a><ul>
306 <li><a class="reference" href="#overview" id="id26" name="id26">Overview</a></li>
307 <li><a class="reference" href="#required-portage-enhancements" id="id27" name="id27">Required Portage Enhancements</a></li>
308 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-identities" id="id28" name="id28">News Item Identities</a></li>
309 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-directories" id="id29" name="id29">News Item Directories</a></li>
310 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-files" id="id30" name="id30">News Item Files</a><ul>
311 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-headers" id="id31" name="id31">News Item Headers</a></li>
312 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-body" id="id32" name="id32">News Item Body</a></li>
313 <li><a class="reference" href="#example-news-item" id="id33" name="id33">Example News Item</a></li>
314 </ul>
315 </li>
316 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-quality-control" id="id34" name="id34">News Item Quality Control</a></li>
317 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-distribution" id="id35" name="id35">News Item Distribution</a><ul>
318 <li><a class="reference" href="#server-side" id="id36" name="id36">Server Side</a></li>
319 <li><a class="reference" href="#client-side" id="id37" name="id37">Client Side</a></li>
320 </ul>
321 </li>
322 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-clients" id="id38" name="id38">News Item Clients</a></li>
323 <li><a class="reference" href="#news-item-removal" id="id39" name="id39">News Item Removal</a></li>
324 </ul>
325 </li>
326 <li><a class="reference" href="#integration-with-existing-systems" id="id40" name="id40">Integration with Existing Systems</a></li>
327 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id41" name="id41">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
328 <li><a class="reference" href="#reference-implementation" id="id42" name="id42">Reference Implementation</a></li>
329 <li><a class="reference" href="#credits" id="id43" name="id43">Credits</a></li>
330 <li><a class="reference" href="#example-files" id="id44" name="id44">Example Files</a></li>
331 <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id45" name="id45">References</a></li>
332 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id46" name="id46">Copyright</a></li>
333 </ul>
334 </div>
335 <div class="section">
336 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id22" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
337 <p>This GLEP proposes a new way of informing users about important updates and news
338 related to the tree.</p>
339 </div>
340 <div class="section">
341 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id23" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
342 <p>Although most package updates are clean and require little user action,
343 occasionally an upgrade requires user intervention. Recent examples of the
344 latter include the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gcc-3.4</span></tt> stabilisation on <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86</span></tt> and the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">mysql-4.1</span></tt>
345 database format changes.</p>
346 <p>There are currently several ways of delivering important news items to our
347 users, none of them particularly effective:</p>
348 <ul class="simple">
349 <li>Gentoo Weekly News</li>
350 <li>The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-announce</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-user</span></tt> and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-dev</span></tt> mailing lists</li>
351 <li>The Gentoo Forums</li>
352 <li>The main Gentoo website</li>
353 <li>RSS feeds of Gentoo news</li>
354 <li><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">einfo</span></tt> and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">ewarn</span></tt> messages in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">pkg_setup</span></tt> or <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">pkg_postinst</span></tt></li>
355 </ul>
356 <p>A more reliable way of getting news of critical updates out to users is required
357 to avoid repeats of various prior upgrade debacles. This GLEP proposes a
358 solution based around pushing news items out to the user via the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">rsync</span></tt> tree.</p>
359 <div class="important">
360 <p class="first admonition-title">Important</p>
361 <p class="last">This GLEP does not seek to replace or modify <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">einfo</span></tt> messages
362 which are displayed post-install. That is a separate issue which is handled
363 by <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">elog</span></tt> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#bug-11359" id="id1" name="id1">[1]</a>.</p>
364 </div>
365 </div>
366 <div class="section">
367 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id24" id="requirements" name="requirements">Requirements</a></h1>
368 <p>An adequate solution must meet all of the following requirements:</p>
369 <dl class="docutils">
370 <dt>Preemptive</dt>
371 <dd>Users should be told of changes <em>before</em> they break a system, not after the
372 damage has already been done. Ideally, the system administrator would be
373 given ample warning to plan difficult upgrades and changes, rather than only
374 being told just before action is necessary.</dd>
375 <dt>No user subscription required</dt>
376 <dd>It has already been demonstrated <a class="footnote-reference" href="#forums-apache2" id="id2" name="id2">[5]</a> that many users do not
377 read the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-announce</span></tt> mailing list or <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">RSS</span></tt> feeds. A solution that
378 requires subscription has no advantage over current methods.</dd>
379 <dt>No user monitoring required</dt>
380 <dd>It has already been demonstrated <a class="footnote-reference" href="#forums-apache2" id="id3" name="id3">[5]</a> that many users do not
381 read news items posted to the Gentoo website, or do not read news items
382 until it is too late. A solution that relies upon active monitoring of a
383 particular source has no advantage over current methods.</dd>
384 <dt>Relevant</dt>
385 <dd>System administrators who do not use a particular package should not have to
386 read news items which affect purely that package. Some news items may be of
387 relevance to most or all users, but those that are not should not be forced
388 upon users unnecessarily.</dd>
389 <dt>Lightweight</dt>
390 <dd>It is not reasonable to expect all users to have an MTA, web browser, email
391 client, cron daemon or text processing suite available on their system.
392 Users must not be forced to install unreasonable extra software to be able
393 to read news items.</dd>
394 <dt>No privacy violations</dt>
395 <dd>Users of the solution should not be required to provide information about
396 their systems (for example, IP addresses or installed packages).</dd>
397 <dt>Multiple delivery method support</dt>
398 <dd>Some users may wish to view news items via email, some via a terminal and
399 some via a web browser. A solution should either support all of these
400 methods or (better still) make it simple to write clients for displaying
401 news items in different ways.</dd>
402 </dl>
403 <p>The following characteristics would be desirable:</p>
404 <dl class="docutils">
405 <dt>Internationalisable</dt>
406 <dd>Being able to provide messages in multiple languages may be beneficial.</dd>
407 <dt>Quality control</dt>
408 <dd>There should be some way to ensure that badly written or irrelevant messages
409 are not sent out, for example by inexperienced developers or those whose
410 English language skills are below par.</dd>
411 <dt>Simple for developers</dt>
412 <dd>Posting news items should be as simple as is reasonably possible.</dd>
413 <dt>Simple for users</dt>
414 <dd>Reading relevant news items should be as simple as is reasonably possible.</dd>
415 <dt>Compatibility with existing and future news sources</dt>
416 <dd>A news system would ideally be able to be integrated with existing news
417 sources (for example, Forums, GWN, the main Gentoo website) without
418 excessive difficulty. Similarly, easy interoperation with any future news
419 sources should not be precluded.</dd>
420 </dl>
421 </div>
422 <div class="section">
423 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id25" id="specification" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
424 <div class="section">
425 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id26" id="overview" name="overview">Overview</a></h2>
426 <p>News items are published and delivered to users as follows:</p>
427 <ol class="arabic simple">
428 <li>A news item is written. The format to be used is described below.</li>
429 <li>The news item is reviewed, following the process described in
430 <a class="reference" href="#news-item-quality-control">News Item Quality Control</a>.</li>
431 <li>The news item is committed to a CVS (or Subversion <a class="footnote-reference" href="#glep-36" id="id4" name="id4">[9]</a>) repository.
432 From here, it is merged with the rsync tree. This is described in <a class="reference" href="#news-item-distribution">News Item
433 Distribution</a>.</li>
434 <li>Users fetch the news item when they sync. This ensures that the news items in
435 question are pushed to the user before the user accidentally makes an
436 unwanted change. No changes to the existing rsync process are required by
437 this GLEP.</li>
438 <li>The package manager filters the news item and, if it is relevant, marks the
439 news item for reading. The package manager should also display a notice
440 informing the user that there are unread news items.</li>
441 <li>The news item is handled by the user's choice of news item reader. See <a class="reference" href="#news-item-clients">News
442 Item Clients</a>.</li>
443 </ol>
444 </div>
445 <div class="section">
446 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id27" id="required-portage-enhancements" name="required-portage-enhancements">Required Portage Enhancements</a></h2>
447 <p>The following extensions to Portage are required:</p>
448 <ul class="simple">
449 <li>Every repository (including overlays) will require a unique identifier. It is
450 assumed that an identifier will be a string consisting of characters from
451 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">a</span></tt> to <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">z</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">A</span></tt> to <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Z</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">0</span></tt> to <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">9</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">+</span></tt> (plus), <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">-</span></tt> (hyphen)
452 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">_</span></tt> (underscore).</li>
453 <li>Portage must provide a way for external programs to obtain a list of all
454 repository identifiers for a given system. It is assumed that this will be in
455 the form of a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span></tt> command (e.g. <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span> <span class="pre">get_repo_ids</span></tt>).</li>
456 <li>Portage must provide a way for external programs to obtain the base path for
457 a repository with a given ID. It is assumed that this will be in the form of
458 a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span></tt> command (e.g. <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span> <span class="pre">get_repo_root</span> <span class="pre">gentoo-x86</span></tt>).</li>
459 <li>Portage must extend <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span> <span class="pre">has_version</span></tt> to support restrictions to a
460 given repository ID.</li>
461 <li>Portage must extend <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span></tt> to implement a command which returns whether
462 or not the profile used for a given repository ID is exactly the given profile
463 (e.g. <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portageq</span> <span class="pre">profile_used</span> <span class="pre">default-linux/sparc/sparc64/2004.3</span>
464 <span class="pre">gentoo-x86</span></tt>).</li>
465 </ul>
466 <p>These extensions are assumed during the following specification.</p>
467 </div>
468 <div class="section">
469 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id28" id="news-item-identities" name="news-item-identities">News Item Identities</a></h2>
470 <p>Each news item will have a unique identifier. This identifier will be in the
471 form <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy-mm-dd-short-name</span></tt>, where <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy</span></tt> is the year (e.g. <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">2005</span></tt>),
472 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">mm</span></tt> is the month (<tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">01</span></tt> through <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">12</span></tt>) and dd is the day of the month
473 (<tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">01</span></tt> through <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">31</span></tt>). The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">short-name</span></tt> is a very short name describing the
474 news item (e.g. <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yoursql-updates</span></tt>), consisting only of the characters <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">a-z</span></tt>,
475 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">0-9</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">+</span></tt> (plus), <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">-</span></tt> (hyphen) and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">_</span></tt> (underscore).</p>
476 </div>
477 <div class="section">
478 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id29" id="news-item-directories" name="news-item-directories">News Item Directories</a></h2>
479 <p>Each news item will be represented by a directory whose name is the same as the
480 news item's identifier.</p>
481 <p>The directory will contain a file named <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy-mm-dd-short-name.en.txt</span></tt>, which
482 contains the text of the news item, in English, in the format described below.</p>
483 <p>If a news item is translated, other files named <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy-mm-dd-short-name.xx.txt</span></tt>
484 (where <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">xx</span></tt> is the ISO 639 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#iso-639" id="id5" name="id5">[11]</a> two letter country code, and the date
485 remains the same as the original news item) will also be provided. However, only
486 the English version of a news item is authoritative. This anglocentricity is
487 justified by precedent <a class="footnote-reference" href="#glep-34" id="id6" name="id6">[8]</a>.</p>
488 </div>
489 <div class="section">
490 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id30" id="news-item-files" name="news-item-files">News Item Files</a></h2>
491 <p>A news item file is a text file, encoded using UTF-8 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#rfc-3629" id="id7" name="id7">[14]</a> for
492 compatibility with and for the same reasons as existing Gentoo documentation
493 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#docs-policy" id="id8" name="id8">[2]</a> and the tree <a class="footnote-reference" href="#glep-31" id="id9" name="id9">[7]</a>.</p>
494 <p>News items must be signed with a detached GPG signature.:</p>
495 <pre class="literal-block">
496 gpg --armour --detach-sign ????-??-??-*.??.txt
497 </pre>
498 <p>This GLEP does not specify the type or strength of signature to be used, nor
499 does it discuss how, if at all, a centralised keychain will be provided. These
500 issues should be handled as part of the signing policy discussions.</p>
501 <p>A news item file's content will consist of an <a class="reference" href="http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc822.html">RFC 822</a> style header <a class="footnote-reference" href="#rfc-822" id="id10" name="id10">[13]</a>
502 followed by the main body of the message as plain text. This GLEP defines
503 various optional and mandatory headers. Future GLEPs may propose new headers —
504 tools handling these news items must ignore any unrecognised header.</p>
505 <div class="section">
506 <h3><a class="toc-backref" href="#id31" id="news-item-headers" name="news-item-headers">News Item Headers</a></h3>
507 <p>The following headers describe the purpose and format of the news item:</p>
508 <dl class="docutils">
509 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Title:</span></tt></dt>
510 <dd>A short (maximum 44 characters) descriptive title. Mandatory.</dd>
511 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Author:</span></tt></dt>
512 <dd>Author's name and email address, in the form <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Real</span> <span class="pre">Name</span> <span class="pre">&lt;email&#64;address&gt;</span></tt>.
513 Mandatory; multiple author headers may be specified if appropriate.</dd>
514 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Translator:</span></tt></dt>
515 <dd>For translated news items, the translator's name and email address. Multiple
516 translator headers may be specified if appropriate.</dd>
517 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Content-Type:</span></tt></dt>
518 <dd>Must be <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">text/plain</span></tt>. Mandatory.</dd>
519 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Posted:</span></tt></dt>
520 <dd>Date of posting, in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy-mm-dd</span></tt> format (e.g. 2005-12-18) for
521 compatibility with GLEP 45 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#glep-45" id="id11" name="id11">[10]</a>. Translations should use the date
522 of the original news item. Mandatory.</dd>
523 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Revision:</span></tt></dt>
524 <dd>Initially 1. Should be incremented every time a change is made to the news
525 item. Changes that require a re-read of the news item (i.e., most changes
526 that are not spelling or formatting related) should instead use a new news
527 item. Mandatory.</dd>
528 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">News-Item-Format:</span></tt></dt>
529 <dd>Must be <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">1.0</span></tt>. Future revisions to the format may increment the minor
530 number for backwards-compatible changes, or the major number for major
531 changes.</dd>
532 </dl>
533 <p>The following headers are used for filtering:</p>
534 <dl class="docutils">
535 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-Installed:</span></tt></dt>
536 <dd>A dependency atom (for example, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;dev-lang/php-5_alpha</span></tt> or
537 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">net-www/apache</span></tt>). If the user has the package specified installed from
538 the repository from which the news item was obtained, the news item should
539 be displayed.</dd>
540 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-Keyword:</span></tt></dt>
541 <dd>A keyword <a class="footnote-reference" href="#glep-22" id="id12" name="id12">[6]</a> name, for example <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">mips</span></tt> or <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86-fbsd</span></tt>. If the
542 user is on the keyword in question, the news item should be displayed.</dd>
543 <dt><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-Profile:</span></tt></dt>
544 <dd>A profile path, for example <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">default-linux/sparc/sparc64/server</span></tt>. If the
545 user is using the exact profile in question, the news item should be
546 displayed. This header may be used to replace <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">deprecated</span></tt> files in the
547 future.</dd>
548 </dl>
549 <div class="note">
550 <p class="first admonition-title">Note</p>
551 <p class="last">When performing package moves, developers must also update any
552 relevant <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-Installed</span></tt> headers in news files.</p>
553 </div>
554 <p>The algorithm used to determine whether a news item is 'relevant' is as
555 follows:</p>
556 <ul class="simple">
557 <li>For each <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-</span></tt> header type which occurs at least once:<ul>
558 <li>The news item is not relevant if none of the headers of this type are
559 successfully matched.</li>
560 </ul>
561 </li>
562 <li>Otherwise the news item is relevant.</li>
563 </ul>
564 <p>In particular, if no <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Display-If-</span></tt> header is specified, a news item will be
565 relevant for all users.</p>
566 <p>This algorithm was chosen because it makes conditions like &quot;display this news
567 item for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">YourSQL</span></tt> users who are on <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sparc</span></tt> or <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86-obsd</span></tt> relatively
568 simple to specify — it is believed that these kinds of condition are far more
569 likely to occur than &quot;display this news item for people using <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">YourSQL</span></tt>, or
570 for people on <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sparc</span></tt> or <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86-obsd</span></tt>&quot; or &quot;display these news items for
571 people who use <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">YourSQL</span></tt> and who are on both <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sparc</span></tt> and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">x86-obsd</span></tt>&quot;.</p>
572 </div>
573 <div class="section">
574 <h3><a class="toc-backref" href="#id32" id="news-item-body" name="news-item-body">News Item Body</a></h3>
575 <p>The header section must be followed by a blank line, then the main body of the
576 text.</p>
577 <p>The text body should be wrapped at 72 characters. No fancy formatting or tab
578 characters should be used — the news item may be being displayed directly to a
579 terminal. Paragraphs should be separated by a blank line.</p>
580 <p>Hyperlinks may be used to refer to further information (for example, an upgrade
581 guide). However, the main body of the news item should be descriptive and not
582 simply a &quot;read this link&quot; text. It is assumed that the user will have access to
583 a web browser <em>somewhere</em>, but not necessarily on the box which is being
584 administrated — this will be the case on many servers and routers, for example.</p>
585 </div>
586 <div class="section">
587 <h3><a class="toc-backref" href="#id33" id="example-news-item" name="example-news-item">Example News Item</a></h3>
588 <p><a class="reference" href="glep-0042-extras/example-news-item.txt">This hypothetical news item</a> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#id20" id="id21" name="id21">[18]</a> could be used for an upgrade to the
589 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">YourSQL</span></tt> database format which breaks forward compatibility.</p>
590 </div>
591 </div>
592 <div class="section">
593 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id34" id="news-item-quality-control" name="news-item-quality-control">News Item Quality Control</a></h2>
594 <p>There have been complaints regarding the comprehensibility of some upgrade
595 notices and news items in the past. This is understandable — not every Gentoo
596 developer speaks English as a first language. However, for the sake of clarity,
597 professionalism and avoiding making us look like prats, it is important that any
598 language problems be corrected before inflicting a news item upon end users.</p>
599 <p>Thus, at least 72 hours before a proposed news item is committed, it must be
600 posted to the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-dev</span></tt> mailing list and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">Cc:</span></tt>ed to <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">pr&#64;gentoo.org</span></tt>
601 (exceptions may be made in exceptional circumstances). Any complaints — for
602 example regarding wording, clarity or accuracy — <strong>must</strong> be addressed before
603 the news item goes live.</p>
604 <p>News items must only be for <strong>important</strong> changes that may cause serious upgrade
605 or compatibility problems. Ordinary upgrade messages and non-critical news items
606 should remain in <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">einfo</span></tt> notices. The importance of the message to its
607 intended audience should be justified with the proposal.</p>
608 <div class="important">
609 <p class="first admonition-title">Important</p>
610 <p class="last">The filtering system means that it is appropriate to send out
611 news items which are aimed at users of an uncommon package or architecture.
612 Thus, the justification should be in the form &quot;this message is important to
613 YourSQL users because ...&quot;, not &quot;YourSQL is important because ...&quot;.</p>
614 </div>
615 </div>
616 <div class="section">
617 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id35" id="news-item-distribution" name="news-item-distribution">News Item Distribution</a></h2>
618 <div class="section">
619 <h3><a class="toc-backref" href="#id36" id="server-side" name="server-side">Server Side</a></h3>
620 <p>News items are to be made available via the standard rsync tree. This removes
621 any need for polling of a remote source.</p>
622 <p>A new repository will be created for news items. The type (CVS or Subversion),
623 location and access controls on this repository are beyond the scope of this
624 GLEP.</p>
625 <div class="note">
626 <p class="first admonition-title">Note</p>
627 <p class="last">A previous draft of this GLEP instead used the main <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-x86</span></tt>
628 tree. This was changed following advice from Infrastructure
629 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#ramereth-repo" id="id14" name="id14">[12]</a>. Both solutions have the same end result.</p>
630 </div>
631 <p>This repository will contain directories named <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy/mm/</span></tt>, where <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy</span></tt> is
632 the current year and <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">mm</span></tt> is the current month number (01 for January through
633 12 for December). This separation will help keep news items more manageable.</p>
634 <p>The contents of this repository will automatically be merged with the main rsync
635 tree, placing the items in a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">metadata/news/</span></tt> directory. The method used for
636 merging these items and the frequency at which it will occur is beyond the scope
637 of this GLEP; a similar setup is already used for merging GLSAs into the rsync
638 tree.</p>
639 <p>The main rsync tree will <strong>not</strong> use the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">yyyy/mm/</span></tt> subdirectory layout. The
640 news item directories will all be immediately under the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">metadata/news/</span></tt>
641 directory.</p>
642 </div>
643 <div class="section">
644 <h3><a class="toc-backref" href="#id37" id="client-side" name="client-side">Client Side</a></h3>
645 <p>Whenever relevant unread news items are found, the package manager will create a
646 file named <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">/var/lib/gentoo/news/news-${repoid}.unread</span></tt> (if it does not
647 already exist) and append the news item identifier (eg
648 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">2005-11-01-yoursql-updates</span></tt>) on a new line.</p>
649 <p>All news item related files should be root owned and in the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">portage</span></tt> group
650 with the group write (and, for directories, execute) bits set. News files should
651 be world readable.</p>
652 <p>Notification that new relevant news items will be displayed via the
653 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">emerge</span></tt> tool in a similar way to the existing &quot;configuration files need
654 updating&quot; messages:</p>
655 <pre class="literal-block">
656 * Important: there are 5 unread news items.
657 * Type emerge --help news to learn how to read news files.
658 </pre>
659 <p>Checks for new news messages should be displayed:</p>
660 <ul class="simple">
661 <li>After an <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">emerge</span> <span class="pre">sync</span></tt></li>
662 <li>After an <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">emerge</span> <span class="pre">--pretend</span></tt></li>
663 <li>Before an <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">emerge</span> <span class="pre">&lt;target&gt;</span></tt> (which may also include a red warning message)</li>
664 </ul>
665 <p>The package manager does not need to know how to launch the user's choice of
666 news client. This is consistent with the way configuration file updates are
667 handled.</p>
668 <p>The package manager may use a timestamp check file to avoid having to process
669 news items unnecessarily.</p>
670 <p>The package manager must keep track of news items that have already been added
671 to the unread list to avoid repeatedly marking a deleted news item. This could
672 be handled via a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">news-${repoid}.skip</span></tt> file containing the IDs of news items
673 that have already been added to a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">news-${repoid}.unread</span></tt> file, but this
674 method is not required by this GLEP.</p>
675 <p>Users who really don't care about news items can use <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">rsync_excludes</span></tt> to
676 filter out the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">metadata/news/</span></tt> directory.</p>
677 </div>
678 </div>
679 <div class="section">
680 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id38" id="news-item-clients" name="news-item-clients">News Item Clients</a></h2>
681 <p>Once a news item is marked for reading, third party tools (or traditional core
682 Unix tools) can be used to display and view the news files.</p>
683 <p>When a news item is read, its name should be removed from the
684 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">news-${repoid}.unread</span></tt> file. If a news client acts as an interactive reader
685 rather than a gateway, it should then add the name to a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">news-${repoid}.read</span></tt>
686 file in the same directory with the same file format.</p>
687 <p>An <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">eselect</span></tt> <a class="footnote-reference" href="#eselect" id="id15" name="id15">[3]</a> module shall be created as the 'suggested' display
688 tool; other display tools (for example, a news to email forwarder, which would
689 be ideal for users who sync on a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">cron</span></tt>) are left as options for those who
690 desire them.</p>
691 </div>
692 <div class="section">
693 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id39" id="news-item-removal" name="news-item-removal">News Item Removal</a></h2>
694 <p>News items can be removed (by removing the news file from the main tree) when
695 they are no longer relevant, if they are made obsolete by a future news item or
696 after a long period of time. This is the same as the method used for <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">updates</span></tt>
697 entries.</p>
698 </div>
699 </div>
700 <div class="section">
701 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id40" id="integration-with-existing-systems" name="integration-with-existing-systems">Integration with Existing Systems</a></h1>
702 <p>It would be simple to convert these news items into the format used for news
703 items on the Gentoo website or posts for the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo-announce</span></tt> mailing list.</p>
704 <p>There is an existing automated tool <a class="footnote-reference" href="#forums-glsa" id="id16" name="id16">[4]</a> for posting GLSAs to the
705 forums. A similar tool can be used for these news items.</p>
706 </div>
707 <div class="section">
708 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id41" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
709 <p>Backwards compatibility is not a concern here. Existing tools will simply ignore
710 the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">news/</span></tt> directory.</p>
711 </div>
712 <div class="section">
713 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id42" id="reference-implementation" name="reference-implementation">Reference Implementation</a></h1>
714 <p>A reference implementation of the required package manager support can be found
715 in Paludis <a class="footnote-reference" href="#paludis" id="id17" name="id17">[15]</a>, along with a reference newsreader implemented as an
716 eselect module <a class="footnote-reference" href="#eselect-news" id="id18" name="id18">[16]</a>.</p>
717 </div>
718 <div class="section">
719 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id43" id="credits" name="credits">Credits</a></h1>
720 <p>The idea behind notifying users of news updates via Portage comes from Stuart
721 Herbert <a class="footnote-reference" href="#stuart-blog" id="id19" name="id19">[17]</a>.</p>
722 <p>Thanks to Lance Albertson, Stephen Bennett, Donnie Berkholz, Grant Goodyear,
723 Brian Harring, Marius Mauch, Dan Meltzer, Jason Stubbs, Paul de Vrieze and Alec
724 Warner for input. Some of the ideas presented here are theirs, others go
725 completely against their suggestions.</p>
726 </div>
727 <div class="section">
728 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id44" id="example-files" name="example-files">Example Files</a></h1>
729 <dl class="docutils">
730 <dt><a class="reference" href="glep-0042-extras/example-news-item.txt">example-news-item.txt</a></dt>
731 <dd>An example news item.</dd>
732 </dl>
733 </div>
734 <div class="section">
735 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id45" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
736 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="bug-11359" rules="none">
737 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
738 <tbody valign="top">
739 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id1" name="bug-11359">[1]</a></td><td>Bugzilla Bug 11359
740 &quot;[NEW FEATURE] pkg_postinst/pkg_preinst ewarn/einfo logging&quot;,
741 <a class="reference" href="https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11359">https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11359</a></td></tr>
742 </tbody>
743 </table>
744 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="docs-policy" rules="none">
745 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
746 <tbody valign="top">
747 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id8" name="docs-policy">[2]</a></td><td>Gentoo XML Guide, Daniel Robbins et al.,
748 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml</a></td></tr>
749 </tbody>
750 </table>
751 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="eselect" rules="none">
752 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
753 <tbody valign="top">
754 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id15" name="eselect">[3]</a></td><td>eselect modular framework for configuration and
755 administration utilities,
756 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/eselect/index.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/eselect/index.xml</a></td></tr>
757 </tbody>
758 </table>
759 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="forums-glsa" rules="none">
760 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
761 <tbody valign="top">
762 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id16" name="forums-glsa">[4]</a></td><td>Forums user GLSA,
763 <a class="reference" href="http://forums.gentoo.org/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&amp;u=55648">http://forums.gentoo.org/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&amp;u=55648</a></td></tr>
764 </tbody>
765 </table>
766 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="forums-apache2" rules="none">
767 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
768 <tbody valign="top">
769 <tr><td class="label"><a name="forums-apache2">[5]</a></td><td><em>(<a class="fn-backref" href="#id2">1</a>, <a class="fn-backref" href="#id3">2</a>)</em> Forums thread &quot;Gentoo Apache2 Config Change Idiocy&quot;,
770 <a class="reference" href="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-384368.html">http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-384368.html</a></td></tr>
771 </tbody>
772 </table>
773 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="glep-22" rules="none">
774 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
775 <tbody valign="top">
776 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id12" name="glep-22">[6]</a></td><td>GLEP 22: &quot;New &quot;keyword&quot; system to incorporate various
777 userlands/kernels/archs&quot;, Grant Goodyear,
778 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0022.html">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0022.html</a></td></tr>
779 </tbody>
780 </table>
781 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="glep-31" rules="none">
782 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
783 <tbody valign="top">
784 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id9" name="glep-31">[7]</a></td><td>GLEP 31: &quot;Character Sets for Portage Tree Items&quot;, Ciaran
785 McCreesh,
786 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0031.html">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0031.html</a></td></tr>
787 </tbody>
788 </table>
789 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="glep-34" rules="none">
790 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
791 <tbody valign="top">
792 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id6" name="glep-34">[8]</a></td><td>GLEP 34: &quot;Per-Category metadata.xml Files&quot;, Ciaran McCreesh,
793 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0034.html">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0034.html</a></td></tr>
794 </tbody>
795 </table>
796 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="glep-36" rules="none">
797 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
798 <tbody valign="top">
799 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id4" name="glep-36">[9]</a></td><td>GLEP 36: &quot;Subversion/CVS for Gentoo Hosted Projects&quot;, Aaron
800 Walker,
801 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0036.html">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0036.html</a></td></tr>
802 </tbody>
803 </table>
804 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="glep-45" rules="none">
805 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
806 <tbody valign="top">
807 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id11" name="glep-45">[10]</a></td><td>GLEP 45: &quot;GLEP date format&quot;, Henrik Brix Andersen,
808 <a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0045.html">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0045.html</a></td></tr>
809 </tbody>
810 </table>
811 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="iso-639" rules="none">
812 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
813 <tbody valign="top">
814 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id5" name="iso-639">[11]</a></td><td>ISO 639 &quot;Code for the representation of names of languages&quot;</td></tr>
815 </tbody>
816 </table>
817 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="ramereth-repo" rules="none">
818 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
819 <tbody valign="top">
820 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id14" name="ramereth-repo">[12]</a></td><td>&quot;Re: [gentoo-dev] GLEP ??: Critical News Reporting&quot;, Lance
821 Albertson,
822 <a class="reference" href="http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-dev&amp;m=113111585907703&amp;w=2">http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-dev&amp;m=113111585907703&amp;w=2</a></td></tr>
823 </tbody>
824 </table>
825 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="rfc-822" rules="none">
826 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
827 <tbody valign="top">
828 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id10" name="rfc-822">[13]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc822.html">RFC 822</a> &quot;Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages&quot;</td></tr>
829 </tbody>
830 </table>
831 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="rfc-3629" rules="none">
832 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
833 <tbody valign="top">
834 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id7" name="rfc-3629">[14]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3629.html">RFC 3629</a>: &quot;UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646&quot;
835 <a class="reference" href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt">http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3629.txt</a></td></tr>
836 </tbody>
837 </table>
838 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="paludis" rules="none">
839 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
840 <tbody valign="top">
841 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id17" name="paludis">[15]</a></td><td>Paludis homepage, <a class="reference" href="http://paludis.berlios.de">http://paludis.berlios.de</a></td></tr>
842 </tbody>
843 </table>
844 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="eselect-news" rules="none">
845 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
846 <tbody valign="top">
847 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id18" name="eselect-news">[16]</a></td><td>news.eselect, <a class="reference" href="http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/paludis/trunk/eselect/news.eselect">http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/paludis/trunk/eselect/news.eselect</a></td></tr>
848 </tbody>
849 </table>
850 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="stuart-blog" rules="none">
851 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
852 <tbody valign="top">
853 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id19" name="stuart-blog">[17]</a></td><td>&quot;Favouring an automatic news mechanism&quot;, Stuart Herbert,
854 <a class="reference" href="http://stu.gnqs.org/diary/gentoo.php/2005/10/28/favouring_an_automatic_news_mechanism">http://stu.gnqs.org/diary/gentoo.php/2005/10/28/favouring_an_automatic_news_mechanism</a></td></tr>
855 </tbody>
856 </table>
857 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="id20" rules="none">
858 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
859 <tbody valign="top">
860 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id21" name="id20">[18]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="glep-0042-extras/example-news-item.txt">glep-0042-extras/example-news-item.txt</a></td></tr>
861 </tbody>
862 </table>
863 </div>
864 <div class="section">
865 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id46" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
866 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
867 <!-- vim: set tw=80 fileencoding=utf-8 spell spelllang=en et : -->
868 </div>
870 </div>
871 <div class="footer">
872 <hr class="footer" />
873 <a class="reference" href="glep-0042.txt">View document source</a>.
874 Generated on: 2006-10-10 20:23 UTC.
875 Generated by <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/">Docutils</a> from <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html">reStructuredText</a> source.
877 </div>
878 </body>
879 </html>

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