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Gateway Enhancement Proposal (GEP)

Gateway Enhancement Proposals (GEPs) serve a similar purpose to the KEP process for the main Kubernetes project:

  1. Ensure that changes to the API follow a known process and discussion in the OSS community.
  2. Make changes and proposals discoverable (current and future).
  3. Document design ideas, tradeoffs, decisions that were made for historical reference.


1. Circulate the Idea

Before creating a GEP, share your high level idea with the community. This can be in one of many forms:

2. Agree on the Goals

Although it can be tempting to start writing out all the details of your proposal, it's important to first ensure we all agree on the goals. The first version of your GEP should aim for a "Provisional" status and leave out any implementation details, focusing primarily on "Goals" and "Non-Goals".

3. Document Implementation Details

Now that everyone agrees on the goals, it is time to start writing out your proposed implementation details. These implementation details should be very thorough, including the proposed API spec, and covering any relevant edge cases. Note that it may be helpful to use a shared doc for part of this phase to enable faster iteration on potential designs.

It is likely that throughout this process, you will discuss a variety of alternatives. Be sure to document all of these in the GEP, and why we decided against them. At this stage, the GEP should be targeting the "Implementable" stage.

4. Implement the GEP as "Experimental"

With the GEP marked as "Implementable", it is time to actually make those proposed changes in our API. In some cases, these changes will be documentation only, but in most cases, some API changes will also be required. It is important that every new feature of the API is marked as "Experimental" when it is introduced. Within the API, we use <gateway:experimental> tags to denote experimental fields.

Before these changes are released, they will also need to be documented. GEPs that have not been both implemented and documented before a release cut off will be excluded from the release.

5. Graduate the GEP to "Standard"

Once this feature has met the graduation criteria, it is time to graduate it to the "Standard" channel of the API. Depending on the feature, this may include any of the following:

  1. Graduating the resource to beta
  2. Graduating fields to "standard" by removing <gateway:experimental> tags
  3. Graduating a concept to "standard" by updating documentation


Each GEP has a status field that defines it's current state. Each transition will require a PR to update the GEP and should be discussed at a community meeting before merging. Most GEPS will proceed through the following states:

  • Provisional: The goals described by this GEP have consensus but implementation details have not been agreed to yet.
  • Implementable: The goals and implementation details described by this GEP have consensus but have not been fully implemented yet.
  • Experimental: This GEP has been implemented and is part of the "Experimental" release channel. Breaking changes are still possible.
  • Standard: This GEP has been implemented and is part of the "Standard" release channel. It should be quite stable.

Although less common, some GEPs may end up in one of the following states:

  • Deferred: We do not currently have bandwidth to handle this GEP, it may be revisited in the future.
  • Rejected: This proposal was considered by the community but ultimately rejected.
  • Replaced: This proposal was considered by the community but ultimately replaced by a newer proposal.
  • Withdrawn: This proposal was considered by the community but ultimately withdrawn by the author.


GEPs should match the format of the template found in GEP-696.

Out of scope

What is out of scope: see text from KEP. Examples:

  • Bug fixes
  • Small changes (API validation, documentation, fixups). It is always possible that the reviewers will determine a "small" change ends up requiring a GEP.


  • Q: Why is it named GEP?
  • A: To avoid potential confusion if people start following the cross references to the full KEP process.
  • Q: Why have a different process than mainline?
  • A: We would like to keep the machinery to an absolute minimum for now -- this may change as we move to v1.
  • Q: Is it ok to discuss using shared docs, scratch docs etc?
  • A: Yes, this can be a helpful intermediate step when iterating on design details. It is important that all major feedback, discussions, and alternatives considered in that step are represented in the GEP though. A key goal of GEPs is to show why we made a decision and which alternatives were considered. If separate docs are used, it's important that we can still see all relevant context and decisions in the final GEP.
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