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Auto-Generating ChangeLog and AUTHORS for projects in a version tracking

From: Arne Babenhauserheide (IMK)
Subject: Auto-Generating ChangeLog and AUTHORS for projects in a version tracking system?
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:37:08 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.6.0

Dear GNU Hackers,

In quite a few guides I saw people suggest using the foreign autoconf
style to avoid having to create the required text files.

The goal of this email is to get more people to use the GNU style, so
the interface for understanding an autotools project becomes more
consistent again: GNU style should become standard for all guides.

Among the required files, NEWS is easy to create but cannot be guessed
automatically because it is intended for humans, and README is becoming
standard (again) due to most code hosting sites using it as the summary
page. AUTHORS and ChangeLog normally only contain information which
already available in most version tracking systems - and can be created
easily from that.

If autotools did this automatically, the barrier for using GNU style in
the autotools with a version tracking system would be much smaller: Just
write README and NEWS.

I initially planned to just send a small example script, but that
matured faster than I had expected, so you can now find it at

If someone with git-foo could cleanup the git ChangeLog creation to
conform with the GNU ChangeLog standard, that script should be a good
working example.

The script only touches files which were created by the script or are

Best wishes,
Gruppe: GHG

Raum: 435/410
Tel.: +49 721 608-22885

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Postfach 36 40
76021 Karlsruhe

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