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Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 09:29:55 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hello, John.

On Sun, Mar 06, 2016 at 01:52:04PM -0800, John Wiegley wrote:
>  On Sun, Mar 06 2016 13:07 (-0800), John Wiegley wrote:

> > I have always wanted to drop the ChangeLogs, so if the other
> > developers agree, I'm all for it. Keeping ChangeLog style in the
> > commit entry is not terribly useful either, ....

I find that a strange thing to say.  I frequently search the ChangeLog
for the name of a function, to find out when it was last changed.  I
think the relatively rigid format of the ChangeLog/git commit messages
very helpful.

> > ...., since the diff output of log -p lets you know which function
> > or variable is being modified. I've never missed not having that
> > ChangeLog data in other projects, of any size. But that's up to the
> > other developers and what makes their lives easier.

The ChangeLog is easy to use.  git is difficult to use (more precisely,
is difficult to find out how to use).  I've no idea what git log -p
does, for example (though I'll be looking it up after I've posted this
post :-).  If we drop the ChangeLog we're cutting off its contents from
those for whom discovering the appropriate git commands is too much

> I'd like to open this up to discussion on emacs-devel, so that we hear from
> our other developers. What do you all think about ChangeLogs, and their value
> to you in your work on Emacs?

The ChangeLog is useful, enabling things to be done that can't be done
without it.  If I want to see whether some change was made in Emacs
23.2, for example, I can either inspect 23.2's ChangeLog or spend
several hours working out how to get the information out of git.  No

The ChangeLog is distributed with the release, enabling our users to
access its information.  They typically don't have and/or don't know how
to use git repositories.

I'm decidedly in favour of keeping the ChangeLog.  But surely an
important consideration is whether the person/people who put in the work
to generate it are prepared to carry on doing this.

> -- 
> John Wiegley                  GPG fingerprint = 4710 CF98 AF9B 327B B80F
> http://newartisans.com                          60E1 46C4 BD1A 7AC1 4BA2

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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