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Yoshinori K. Okuji
Thu, 14 Oct 2004 13:20:20 +0200
I'd like to describe additional information on this topic.
The ChangeLog has two different purposes: information for tracking bugs
and information on copyright. For the latter, it is very important to
record who did what at when. "Why" does not matter here.
Suppose that you are a contributor to GNU Project and you are hired by a
company (or maybe under the control of an university). If you forget to
get a disclaimer from your company or the disclaimer is not signed by a
proper person, your company might claim that GNU Project is not allowed
to use your code. Then, we must detect which part of the code is owned
by your company. If you provide only patches, it is too difficult to
track all changes made by you.
For example, when we have a good ChangeLog, if you made a new function
and another person rewrote the function from scratch afterwards, we can
just grep the function name and get a conclusion that we don't have to
drop the function in one minute. If we don't have any good ChangeLog...
you should be able to imagine terrible work.
So, we must have a good ChangeLog always. It does not matter whether you
use comments with a version control system or a plain-text file.
Personally I believe that a plain-text file has more advatanges, but if
you need to write logs anyway, is there any reason that you don't want
to use the file ChangeLog?
I myself do this:
1. Write a change log.
2. Copy the log.
3. Commit my changes to the CVS with a comment pasted.