Brad Fitzpatrick edited this page Jan 6, 2017 · 4 revisions
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This document is about the policy for adding a new port to the main Go repository. By port we mean an operating system + architecture combination, such as linux/386.

The goal of this policy is to avoid the accumulation of incomplete or broken ports.

Requirements for a new port

Before any code relating to a port can be added to the main Go repository, the following must all be done:

  • At least one developer must be named (and agree) to maintain the port, by making required updates in a timely manner as architecture or operating system requirements change.

  • A developer must be named (and agree) to maintain the builder, the machine trying each git revision and providing data for http://build.golang.org.

  • The builder must already be running (and failing, because the code is not yet in the main repository).

  • All CLs necessary to run all.bash successfully must have been sent for review. Typically this will be a handful of CLs split by the part of the tree they change.

Once those conditions are satisfied, the Go team can accept the port and begin to merge the CLs. Once the CLs are all submitted, all.bash must pass, so that the builder reports "ok" in the dashboard.

Any port started during a release cycle must be finished (all.bash passing, builder reporting "ok") before the corresponding release freeze, or else the code will be removed at the freeze.

Because having any port entails a certain maintenance burden on the entire Go development team, not just the port's maintainer, the Go team may refuse a port meeting the above criteria if the port is judged not to reach enough users. This exception is intended to be used rarely, mainly to avoid maintaining ports for toy or hobby operating systems or experimental hardware that is not widely available.

Other repositories

Although it is not part of the core repository, the x/sys repository should add support for the new port before the release happens because it is the official place to add new system calls.

First class ports

Some ports are considered "first class". The distinction is mostly about releases and distribution.

A first class port has these properties:

  • Broken builds block releases
    • All contributors are effectively responsible for these ports (You break it, you fix it, or find someone who can.)
  • Official binaries are provided
    • Requires Google's Go team to own the builder machine
  • Installation is documented at http://golang.org/doc/install

Graduating a port to "first class" is at the discretion of the Go team at Google.

The current first class ports are:

  • linux/amd64
  • linux/386
  • linux/arm
  • darwin/amd64
  • windows/amd64
  • windows/386

We distribute binaries for other GOOS/GOARCH pairs (other "ports"), but they are not "first class" by this definition.

Removing a port

If a builder for a particular port starts failing, the code should be corrected as soon as possible; otherwise future regressions cannot be detected, and the amount of work required to bring the builder back to "ok" compounds.

Ultimately the job of making the port work again falls to the developer maintaining the port, although simple cases (such as +build lines in new code) can and should be fixed by others.

If a builder fails for more than two weeks, it is time to start looking for a more active maintainer for the port.

If a builder fails for more than four weeks or is failing at the time of a release freeze, and a new maintainer cannot be found, the port will be removed from the tree.

Due to backwards compatibility concerns, removing a formerly working port should be a last resort. Finding a new maintainer is always preferable.

Comments and Questions

Comments or questions about the policy should be sent to golang-dev.