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auto-generating skeleton ChangeLogs (was: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: auto-generating skeleton ChangeLogs (was: Is it time to drop ChangeLogs?)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:28:52 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1.50 (gnu/linux)

On Sun, 10 Jul 2016 10:25:31 -0400 Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote: 

RS> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
RS> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
RS> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

>> You're right, of course. But I wasn't saying the program would do the
>> entire job. It will know *what* has changed and provide a place to enter
>> the *why* messages. Then the code reviewer will require those messages
>> before approving the merge. That's essentially what ChangeLogs do, but
>> this will be in a structured format so it's easier to index and analyze
>> the data.

RS> That sounds like an idea worth trying to implement.
RS> If it works well, it could indeed be helpful.

On Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:29:38 +0100 address@hidden (Phillip Lord) wrote: 

PL> I use magit to create the structure for change log from the diff,
PL> interactively during the commit process. It's a little clunky, but it
PL> works okay.

That's what I do as well. It's very visual and I sometimes miss things.

Can we do better? What are the things we can catch, given a patch or VCS
commit and the VCS-controlled file?

* additions of variables: defvar, defcustom, ???
* additions of functions: defun, defun*, ???
* removals of variables and functions
* changes to defcustoms or defvars
* changes to functions
* other top-level macros such as `define-minor-mode'
* new files, deleted files

If there is code already written for this in Emacs or other packages,
great. If not, I guess it should be part of the VC mode?


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