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Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 21:36:35 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

Hello, Ingo.

On Tue, Mar 08, 2016 at 10:25:35PM +0100, Ingo Lohmar wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 08 2016 22:37 (+0200), Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > Using Git is not a problem for me.  The problem is that the
> > information in Git log is unreliable.  The other problem is that will
> > never succeed in teaching new contributors how to make good log
> > messages unless we have an easy way of fixing mistakes there.

> Some arguments in this thread are repeated ad infinitum although they
> don't seem to stand a little scrutiny.  "git log" messages cannot
> technically be both immutable and unreliable: At least there is some
> severely imprecise use of language going on.

If a git log message starts off life unreliable (i.e. there are mistakes
in it) it can never be corrected.  It stays unreliable for the lifetime
of the repository.

> As to the teaching argument: I have read every single message in this
> thread, and nobody has argued for lower (but several people for higher)
> commit message standards.

> In contrast to your opinion, it seems to me that fixing mistakes in the
> Changelogs teaches a contributor who has committed with a flawed commit
> message that it's not really important.  They, or somebody else, can
> clean up their (incl. possibly my) mess.  As Oscar has argued, having
> the original commit rejected (by means to be discussed, and only until
> people have shown good judgment and discipline) teaches them that commit
> messages matter.

I am an experienced Emacs contributor, and I have, even recently, made
mistakes in my commit messages.  I resent the fact that it is so
difficult to correct them, even before pushing to savannah.  I don't
think I need any teaching on the importance of good commit messages.

> The whole argument for Changelogs comes down to a) being an established
> band-aid to clean up spilt milk, or b) providing a fixed-form summary of
> things that can be obtained using the VCS (provided the humans or tools
> wirting the Changelog are as "reliable" as the VCS).

Not everybody has access to the git repository, and not everybody who
has is capable of using it effectively.  ChangeLogs remain a useful,
easy to use summary of Emacs's progress.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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