Gentoo Alt/Contributor's Guide/Policy
This document explains policies for Gentoo/Alt developers.
This text is still a draft, with probably big grammar problems. The policies here stated needs to be completed and decided upon. While this warning is in place, don't take anything here as an official policy!
Patches added to the overlay (and to portage) should follow some basic policies, thought to simplify the process of merging them upstream, without breaking stuff. This allows to drop the patches when new versions are released.
The first important step is to make sure that the patch applies unconditionally, this means that after applying the patch, the sources works fine on every system, and not just the one you're patching for, and also that when adding code to workaround system problems, it should be protected with the right checks (preprocessor or autoconf) so that they don't get in the way when they are not needed.
Patches that changes entirely the building system of a package are usually discouraged, try to find a compromise with upstream developers, also if that would mean having an unusable package in the time being.
All the behavior changes that might affect Gentoo Linux users must always be announced on gentoo-alt at least, and on gentoo-dev if they might affect development practices.
The behavior changes should also be tested on the gentoo-alt overlay so that it doesn't hit the normal users before testing.
This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website gentoo.org.
The following people contributed to the original document: Michael Kohl (author/editor), Diego Pettenò (author), Chris White (editor) on May 2, 2006.
They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.