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Re: Using VC for change descriptions

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Using VC for change descriptions
Date: Tue, 08 May 2018 23:39:08 -0400

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  > I'd like to get back to this discussion of version control logs as an 
  > optional alternative to the ChangeLog format (without any change to the 
  > existing requirements on code comments), since it seems to have tailed 
  > off.

I'm in favor of this change, provided we make sure we have ways to get
all the useful information that we currently put in changelogs.

What I recall is that git provides commands to get some information,
but not the same information.

For instance, one git command would give the name of the last function
header before the change, and in most cases that would be the name of
the function that the change was in, but sometimes it would be
different.  When considered in a rough way, it appears to be a good
substitute, but that is not always so.

I think it should be feasible to write a program that would scan
two versions, and their diff, and determine reliably what functions
the change was in.  At least for certain known languages -- and people
who want to use another language could add support for it.

I think that with a "little" work on this, we could arrange to get
answers via git history to the _same questions_ that we answer now.
Then it would be entirely true that we could stop recording those
answers manually, and not lose anything.

That feature would be an improvement for the whole community, so how
about it writing it?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See https://stallman.org/skype.html.

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