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Re: [Help-nano] why did you stop documenting the changes at changelog.gz

From: Benno Schulenberg
Subject: Re: [Help-nano] why did you stop documenting the changes at changelog.gz ?
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2016 11:22:57 +0100

Hello Shirish,

On Sat, Dec 31, 2016, at 10:58, shirish शिरीष wrote:
> I was looking at the nano source tree
> and saw that you have Changelog and NEWS. The changelog gives users
> like me something to know what happened in the git tree, a sort of
> monthly or bi-monthly report which you used to share. Why did it
> suddenly stop at 2016-03-31 ?

Because we moved from Subversion to Git on April 1, 2016 (no joke),
and the idea was that the Changelog would be produced automatically
at release time from the git commit messages for that period.  But
I never thought about how to format the commit messages in order to
be able to generate a Changelog from them.  And then, after a while,
I just let it be.

To compensate, I later included in the announcement of each release
a condensed overview of the commits made during that period, similar
to what util-linux does.  See for example:

> 2016-03-30  Benno Schulenberg  <address@hidden>
>         * src/search.c (do_replace_loop, go_looking, findnextstr): Report
>         "Cancelled" instead of "Not found" when the user aborts a replace
>         that is taking too long.  This fixes Savannah bug #47439.

I can understand you would like to see things like the above item
in a changelog.  But I think the below items are just clutter for
any normal user.

>         * src/winio.c (do_replace_highlight): Rename this to 'spotlight',
>         for clarity, and for contrast with 'do_replace/do_replace_loop'.
>         * src/winio.c (spotlight): Rename a variable for clarity.
>         * src/files.c (input_tab), src/prompt.c (get_prompt_string):
>         Rename a variable to better indicate booleanness.
>         * src/text.c (do_int_speller): Unwrap a few lines.

They are (mildly) interesting for co-developers, but co-developers
will have git and so they can just as easily look at git log -- which
additinally can provide much more detail than a Changelog can.

> I also saw  NEWS.gz where you seem to have pushed them . Why this change ?

NEWS has always contained a summary of important changes.
It's just that the changes nowadays are smaller, because the
releases are faster, so the news gets a bit more detailed.

> From whatever little I have understood of GNU/Linux, the NEWS.gz had a
> different functionality than changelog.gz . While the changelog.gz
> would give day-to-day or monthly/bi-monthly reports, NEWS.gz is/used
> to be a rare occurence telling important news if some drastic change
> is going to come.

Yes, that is more or less how it is supposed to be.  But in the
history of nano, NEWS has always been a summary of added features,
improvements and bug fixes.  It is simply a record of the release

> It would be nice if NEWS.gz just remains about important stuff .

If you wish to propose such a change, please post to nano-devel
and see what others think.



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