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Re: ChangeLogs?

From: Yoshinori K. Okuji
Subject: Re: ChangeLogs?
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 13:20:20 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.6.1

I'd like to describe additional information on this topic.

The ChangeLog has two different purposes: information for tracking bugs 
and information on copyright. For the latter, it is very important to 
record who did what at when. "Why" does not matter here.

Suppose that you are a contributor to GNU Project and you are hired by a 
company (or maybe under the control of an university). If you forget to 
get a disclaimer from your company or the disclaimer is not signed by a 
proper person, your company might claim that GNU Project is not allowed 
to use your code. Then, we must detect which part of the code is owned 
by your company. If you provide only patches, it is too difficult to 
track all changes made by you.

For example, when we have a good ChangeLog, if you made a new function 
and another person rewrote the function from scratch afterwards, we can 
just grep the function name and get a conclusion that we don't have to 
drop the function in one minute. If we don't have any good ChangeLog... 
you should be able to imagine terrible work.

So, we must have a good ChangeLog always. It does not matter whether you 
use comments with a version control system or a plain-text file. 
Personally I believe that a plain-text file has more advatanges, but if 
you need to write logs anyway, is there any reason that you don't want 
to use the file ChangeLog?

I myself do this:

1. Write a change log.

2. Copy the log.

3. Commit my changes to the CVS with a comment pasted.


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