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What’s Happened to EAPI 3?
EAPI 3 was effectively finished three months ago; some of you are no doubt wondering what happened to it and why there hasn’t been any news.
EAPI 3′s approval was conditional upon Portage support. This isn’t unreasonable, at least for main tree usage, although it’s arguably less relevant for overlays. Unfortunately, Portage is suffering from a severe lack of maintainers.
You can track Portage’s EAPI 3 implementation progress via Gentoo’s bugzilla. As you can see, some progress has been made, but it’s slow going, and hasn’t met the “we’ll be ready within a month” goal given at the Council meeting a month ago.
In the mean time, Paludis 0.38.0 has EAPI 3 support present but not enabled at install time (unlike Portage, we don’t hardcode EAPI numbers into the source, so supporting a feature doesn’t involve any kind of treatment for the EAPI that provides it). Anyone wishing to play with EAPI 3 support for personal use can just copy the EAPI 3 definition file from the source tree.
It’s a shame that Gentoo has to hold back on delivering a better user experience and making good ebuilds easier to write because of Portage. I’d like to encourage anyone who can handle Portage’s codebase to give Gentoo the help it so badly needs.
As for future EAPIs… The current Council has expressed an interest in handing off the EAPI approval process to a separate group. This is either good news if that group is going to put in the work necessary to get things done and deliver practical results, or terrible news if that group is going to perpetuate the worst habits of the previous Council.