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Re: [PATCH] Supporting git-merge-changelog

From: Denny Joel E
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Supporting git-merge-changelog
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:20:23 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Alpine 1.10 (LRH 962 2008-03-14)

On Tue, 26 Aug 2008, Eric Blake wrote:

This same debate already came up on the coreutils list.

Personally, I _like_ the ChangeLog alongside the git log.

So far, the only GNU project I've found that doesn't keep ChangeLog is coreutils, but I've only looked at a handful.

Not only can you
correct typos in the changelog with a subsequent commit

This really appeals to me. I make a lot of silly mistakes, and I hate not to be able to fix them, especially in the ChangeLog that will be included in a formal distribution.

The possibility of discrepancies between ChangeLog and git log are bothering me less the more I think about it. There may be cases where the original git log entry contains a confusing error. In those cases, it isn't prohibitively difficult for a developer to search for the same entry in ChangeLog where it may be corrected. That search might be inconvenient, but I believe it would be infrequent, and it would be worse if there were no possibility to correct the entry anywhere.

Although cvs log is not as useful as git log, I did use it often when tracking down a change, and I don't recall discrepancies with ChangeLog causing difficulty.

, but you can also
attribute multiple authors (Jim already conceded that for coreutils, that was a
shortcoming of his git-to-changelog script - how do you make the reconstructed
ChangeLog credit multiple authors with copyright interest when git log only
allows one --author per commit?).

Author information could just go in the log message in a standard format that a script could extract, so I don't see this as a reason to keep the ChangeLog.

It is also possible to set up git hooks that
will pre-populate your commit message with data culled from the current state
of ChangeLog.

Do you have some hooks we can try? This would at least help us keep our git log entries in a consistent format and free from copying errors.

My final argument in favor of keeping the ChangeLog is Bruno's git-merge-
changelog script.

Akim, I'm leaning toward keeping ChangeLog for now. If you find that git-merge-changelog does not solve the difficulties with merging, perhaps we can revisit the issue again later. Does that sound reasonable?

And bison is
already set up to use git-merge-changelog, provided that you install it per
directions in HACKING.

That reminds me: those instructions should be more helpful. The Autoconf README-hacking has a better URL at least.

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