GAP Packaging Guidelines

This document describes the conventions and customs surrounding the proper packaging of GAP add-on packages in Fedora. Throughout this document, we use the word add-on to substitute for GAP upstream’s use of the word package, to avoid confusion with RPM packages.


The main GAP package and its attendant libraries and help system are in packages named gap, gap-libs, gap-core, gap-online-help, gap-rpm-macros, gap-devel, gap-vim, and libgap. To distinguish add-on packages from these core packages, add-ons MUST have names of the form gap-pkg-foo. For example, the FGA add-on is named gap-pkg-fga.

Add-on Location

Architecture-independent (noarch) packages MUST be installed in %{gap_libdir}/pkg/%{pkgname}, and architecture-specific packages in %{gap_archdir}/pkg/%{pkgname}, where %{pkgname} expands to the GAP name for the add-on.

GAP add-ons are written to be installed simply by unpacking them in an existing GAP directory tree. For most add-ons, the only build action necessary is building the documentation. However, since the add-on authors assumed this would happen within the GAP tree, add-ons freely use relative paths to access GAP files. For example, packages that use TTH to build documentation (see below) commonly invoke ../../../ The RPM spec file MUST account for this, either by altering the add-on to point to paths under %{gap_libdir}, or by creating symbolic links to create the appearance that the build is taking place inside the GAP tree. If the add-on is altered for the build, the spec file SHOULD arrange for the original (unaltered) files to be installed, so that paths are correct after installation.

GAP add-ons are frequently distributed in tarballs with a top-level directory of the form addon-version. The add-on SHOULD be installed without the version number. Documentation for one package often crosslinks into documentation for other packages. If the directories involved contain version numbers, then the crosslinks can be broken by a package upgrade. Avoid this situation by omitting the version numbers. GAP itself can retrieve the version number from the add-on’s PackageInfo.g file, so no information is lost.


All add-ons MUST include BuildRequires: gap-devel, as that package contains essential tools needed for compiling binary modules and building documentation, as well as a set of RPM macros for use in spec files. Each add-on also MUST contain a BuildRequires that is dependent on the documentation style used by the GAP add-on.


Add-ons that use a or script to build documentation also need BuildRequires: tth in order to build HTML documentation pages from TeX input. Some add-ons bundle these scripts, as well as a few auxiliary files. Add-ons containing any of the following files should be modified to link to the version of the file contained in the gap or gap-devel packages.

  • gapmacro.tex%{gap_libdir}/doc/gapmacro.tex

  • gapmacrodoc.tex%{gap_libdir}/doc/gapmacrodoc.tex

  • manualbib.xml%{gap_libdir}/doc/manualbib.xml

  • manualbib.xml.bib%{gap_libdir}/doc/manualbib.xml.bib

  • manualindex%{gap_libdir}/doc/manualindex




Add-ons that use GAPDoc to build documentation MUST include BuildRequires: GAPDoc-latex to pull in the necessary LaTeX packages. These packages do not need Requires: GAPDoc, since gap-core depends on GAPDoc.


Add-ons that use Autodoc to build documentation MUST include BuildRequires: gap-pkg-autodoc. Such packages do not need to include BuildRequires: GAPDoc-latex, as the Autodoc package Requires: GAPDoc-latex.

Requires, Recommends, and Suggests

All add-ons MUST include Requires: gap-core, either directly or transitively. In addition, dependencies on other GAP packages, as recorded in PackageInfo.g, MUST be specified, with the exception of GAPDoc, as noted above. GAP has a 2-level dependency system, specified with NeededOtherPackages and SuggestedOtherPackages tags in PackageInfo.g. How these dependencies map onto the 3-level RPM dependency system of Requires, Recommends, and Suggests is left to the discretion of the Fedora packager.

Unnecessary Files

GAP add-ons are intended to be unpacked in place within a GAP directory tree. Ordinarily, the entire distribution directory is copied into %{gap_libdir}/pkg or %{gap_archdir}/pkg. This includes the documentation directories, which are consumed by the tools contained in gap-online-help. However, some files are not needed in the final install directory. Files that should not appear there include:

  • Textual descriptions of the add-on, such as a README

  • License files (COPYING, COPYRIGHT, LICENSE, etc.)

  • Files for building documentation, often called make_doc

  • Files generated by LaTeX and associated tools, including files with these suffixes:

    • .aux

    • .bbl

    • .blg

    • .idx

    • .ilg

    • .ind

    • .log

    • .toc

Note that License files MUST still be included in the package with the %license tag, and other documentation such as README files can be included as %doc.

The %gap_copy_docs macro is intended to make installation of documentation files easier. For most packages, ensure that the doc subdirectory exists in the buildroot, then invoke the macro without arguments in %install. For special cases, two optional arguments can be given:

  • -d directory: for cases where the documentation directory is not named doc, or there are multiple documentation directories

  • -n package: the installed add-on directory name is assumed to be available from a macro %pkgname. If that is not the case, use this macro to give the main add-on directory name.


Since GAP documentation MUST be installed under %{gap_libdir}/pkg or %{gap_archdir}/pkg for the builtin documentation browser to find it, such documentation SHOULD NOT be duplicated with %doc. However, the documentation SHOULD still be marked as such so that documentation-free installs work as expected. Most add-ons SHOULD include %docdir declarations in the %files section of the spec file; e.g., %docdir %{gap_libdir}/pkg/%{pkgname}/doc and %docdir %{gap_libdir}/pkg/%{pkgname}/htm.

Other RPM macros

Other RPM macros that may be useful for GAP add-on spec files include the following:

  • %gap_version: the version of the main GAP package; e.g., 4.12.0.

  • %gap_archdir: parent directory for arch-specific GAP add-ons, currently %{_libdir}/gap.

  • %gap_libdir: the root directory of the GAP installation, currently %{_datadir}/gap.

  • %gap_arch: the GAP name for the build architecture; e.g., x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu.