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Re: Should we restore manually maintained ChangeLogs

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Should we restore manually maintained ChangeLogs
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 11:26:19 -0800
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On 03/09/2016 11:14 AM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
This community is about software development, not about historical research. When I'm looking up a commit, I want accurate information about it.

Like it or not, that is a form of historical research. One cannot escape the basic principles of history, and in particular one cannot insist that the historical record must be error-free.

There is a reasonable question about how much of our development effort
should be devoted to sprucing up ChangeLogs after they're committed. I
think this should be low priority, whereas as I understand it you would
prefer that we boost its priority. Neither side is advocating
untrustworthy ChangeLogs, or perfect ChangeLogs for that matter; it's
mainly a question of where to allocate our scarce development resources.
I'm arguing that we shouldn't _need_ to allocate resources to it.

There is no free lunch here. There is a real cost to the old-fashioned approach of keeping commit messages as files in the repository. This cost is borne by every contributor, and the hassles of dealing with it was a primary motivation for Emacs (and other projects) moving away from that approach. Regardless of the approach taken, there is also a cost to sprucing up the historical record, a cost borne by the developers who do the sprucing-up. This sort of approach does work unless we devote real resources to it.

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