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Generating ChangeLog files.

From: Rüdiger Sonderfeld
Subject: Generating ChangeLog files.
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2014 10:31:39 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.11.3 (Linux/3.11.0-14-generic; KDE/4.11.3; x86_64; ; )

On Friday 03 January 2014 08:39:04 Michael Albinus wrote:
> Thierry Volpiatto <address@hidden> writes:
> > Also would be great to stop writing unuseful changelog files.
> They are useful. A tar distribution does not contain the git repo with
> the history of commitments.
> Another question is, whether we still want to write ChangeLogs manually,
> or whether we want to extract them from commit comments. That's not such
> easy, see all the "fix typo" comments.

I think we should generate the ChangeLogs from commit messages.  I know that 
one argument raised in the past was that the commit message and ChangeLog can 
differ.  But I don't see a reason why it shouldn't be possible to have both in 
the commit message.  Only the ChangeLog part is added to the generated 
ChangeLog.  This would also allow "fix typo" commits not to be added.

IMO ChangeLogs are an atavism from times when VCS's were not as sophisticated 
as today.  They cause more problems for developers than they are useful.  A 
modern VCS provides tools to more easily match changes to commits than 
searching a ChangeLog can.  They are a pain when merging or rebasing patches.  
I usually write patches on a branch and rebase them when they are ready to be 
pushed.  This always causes merge conflicts for the ChangeLog.  (Maybe [1] 
could help a bit.)

E.g., GNU Octave replaced ChangeLog with an auto-generated ChangeLog from 
commit messages and they seem to be quite happy with that solution.

I know the topic has been discussed several times and it seems a bit pointless 
to start the discussion again.  But in my opinion ChangeLogs are an even 
bigger issue than the VC because at least I can work around the latter by 
using git-bzr.



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