GLEP 48: QA Team's Role and Purpose

Author Mark Loeser <>
Type Standards Track
Status Final
Version 2.1
Created 2006-04-24
Last modified 2019-05-13
Posting history 2006-04-24, 2006-09-05, 2011-06-08, 2019-04-12
GLEP source glep-0048.rst


This GLEP outlines the abilities and purpose of the Quality Assurance team for Gentoo.


For years now developers have been saying how we need an empowered QA team to handle problems concerning the tree. This GLEP provides the structure for such a team and specifies the roles the team would fulfill.

The GLEP has been revised to improve the mandate of the QA team by giving it the full backing of the council.


The QA team should be given certain abilities to look out for the best interests of all developers, as well as our users. The QA team should also work to ensure developers have the information they need, and that packages are maintained. The QA team is also tasked with the authority to ensure tree policies are respected.

  • The QA team's purpose is to provide cross-team assistance in keeping the tree in a good state. This is done primarily by finding and pointing out issues to maintainers and, where necessary, taking direct action.
  • The QA team is directed by a lead, chosen yearly by private or public election among the members of the team, and confirmed by the council. The QA team lead can choose one member as a deputy. The deputy has all of his powers directly delegated from the QA team lead and thus his actions and decisions should be considered equal to those of the QA team lead. The deputy is directly responsible only to the QA team lead.
  • The QA team lead must approve developers who would like to join the project. The applicant must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the duties he would like to perform. By accepting the applicant the QA team lead will accept the responsibility to direct them as part of the team and will be held responsible for any action the team member takes on behalf of the QA team.
  • In case of emergency, or if package maintainers refuse to cooperate, the QA team may take action themselves to fix the problem. The QA team does not want to override the maintainer's wishes by default, but only wish to do so when the team finds it is in the best interest of users and fellow developers to have the issue addressed as soon as possible.
  • The QA team may also offer to fix obvious typos and similar minor issues, and silence from the package maintainers can be taken as agreement in such situations. Coding style issues fall under this category, and while they are not severe, they can make automated checks of the tree more difficult.
  • There will be cases when our tools are incapable of handling a certain situation and policy must be broken in order to get something working completely. This will hopefully not occur very often, but each time it does occur, the QA team and the maintainer will come to some agreement on an interim solution and it is expected that a bug will be opened with the appropriate team to work towards a correct solution.
  • In the case of disagreement among QA members the majority of established QA members must agree with the action. Some examples of disagreements are: whether the perceived problem violates the policy or whether the solution makes the situation worse.
  • In the event that a developer still insists that a package does not break QA standards, an appeal can be made at the next council meeting. The package should be dealt with per QA's request until such a time that a decision is made by the council.
  • Just because a particular QA violation has yet to cause an issue does not change the fact that it is still a QA violation.
  • If a particular developer persistently causes QA violations (actions that negatively impact the behavior of Gentoo systems, work of other developers or infrastructure facilities), the QA team may issue a temporary revocation of developer's commit access (ban), up to 14 days. In case of repeated offenses, the QA team may request that ComRel re-evaluate the commit access. All the evidence of the violation, as well as ban length will be evaluated and voted on by the QA team for each case individually.
  • The QA team will maintain a list of current "QA Standards" with explanations as to why they are problems, and how to fix the problem. The list is not meant by any means to be a comprehensive document, but rather a dynamic document that will be updated as new problems are discovered. The QA team will also do their best to ensure all developer tools are in line with the current QA standards.
  • The QA team will work with Recruiters to keep related documentation and quizzes up to date, so that up and coming developers will have access to all of the necessary information to avoid past problems.
  • QA will take an active role in cleaning up and removing from the tree unmaintained packages as they are found to be broken. It is also encouraged of members of the QA team to assist in mentoring new developers that wish to take over unmaintained packages/herds.
  • The QA lead's term expires one year after confirmation, and during any period that the position is vacant the council may appoint an interim lead.

Backwards Compatibility

Not a problem for this GLEP.