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Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2016 22:59:41 +0200

> From: Karl Fogel <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden,  address@hidden,  address@hidden
> Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:42:30 -0600
> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
> >I don't even need to explain that: there are already people in this
> >discussion who said they'd like to use a less formal format.  (You
> >already asked who those people were, and Dmitry already pointed out
> >who they were.)  To me, the connection is very clear.  If you don't
> >see it, just trust the facts -- it is already happening.
> I've worked in projects where we successfully enforce ChangeLog-style commit 
> message conventions without having actual ChangeLog files.  If the Emacs 
> project is having a social problem enforcing conventions, that's certainly 
> something to be solved.  But blaming it on the absence of ChangeLog files 
> does not hold up empirically.

I'm not blaming anything.  I'm just saying that having ChangeLog files
seems so far to be the cheapest solution to a conundrum.

I don't know what project you have in mind, but IME the only way to
_force_ something in a Free Software project is to have a very
charismatic leader to whose opinions all the rest heed.  That's a rare
case to see, and it certainly isn't our situation here.

> >IOW, it's fortress -- if you dismantle one of its bastions, the others
> >will soon fall as well.  The only way to avoid that is to hold all of
> >them.
> Okay, I understand your argument (I don't think your previous messages made 
> it clear, but you've clarified it now).  However, it just does not hold true 
> in other projects.  Why would we expect Emacs developers to be more slovenly 
> than developers elsewhere?

Because they in fact are?  What can I say? just look around.

> English is my native language, by the way; I'm American, not German.

Apologies.  Then the problem is mine alone.

> FWIW, I couldn't tell from your writing that English is not your native 
> language.

Yes, my disguise is good.  But it's just a disguise, believe me.

> I think this project can successfully enforce ChangeLog-style entries in 
> commit messages if we really want to, without much difficulty.

I don't know why you think so, since we are already failing to do
that.  I agree that it should be possible in theory, but we don't seem
to live up to that.

> I believe this is also what Paul was saying, though I don't want to put words 
> in his mouth.

Paul actually said that it was not a disaster if the log messages were
less than perfect.  (His own are, of course, very good, I wish
everyone would write similar log messages.)

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