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Re: Abolishing ChangeLog files

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Abolishing ChangeLog files
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:36:46 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130308 Thunderbird/17.0.4

     The rules we supposedly follow in Emacs's repository is to put a copy of
     the ChangeLog entry in the commit record.  So the ChangeLog file
     should be redundant.  If it's not, it's an error of the committer.

I guess I have made that error in all my commits.

Why choose this approach, rather than the one I used?

It's simpler and less confusing if the ChangeLog
equals the commit record.  When I'm reading a
ChangeLog, I often want to know the overall
purpose of the change, and it can be frustrating
when this information is omitted.  Conversely, when I'm
reading a sequence of commit records, it's
convenient to know all the functions and files
that got changed, for the same reason it's convenient
to know this when reading a ChangeLog.

For Emacs, I use typically use vc-dwim (a GNU program)
to check in changes.  vc-dwim computes the commit record
automatically from the ChangeLog changes.  So I
don't have to write commit records, and this saves
me time.

Many GNU programs these days compute ChangeLog
files automatically from the commit records, which
boils down to the same thing.  (vc-dwim also supports
this style of maintenance.)

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