[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [flame] NEWS file is useless

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: [flame] NEWS file is useless
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 00:50:40 +0000

I'd be in favour of ditching NEWS and ChangeLog.

ChangeLog has less information, in a less useful format, than the svn logs and is a hold-over from CVS not storing repository-wide change information sensibly. With svn log, you can get a log of change messages at any granularity that you like.

I agree there is an overlap, but there are also some differences. ;-)

Subversion records a single log message for an entire transaction, which might contain changes to a number of files. A ChangeLog entry is supposed to contain a separate log message for every file that was changed.

So, ChangeLogs are particularly good for software that is stable and where changes should be very well thought of -- forcing people to describe each single change to each file is good to slow development down and get people to think more about what they are doing.

If people are submitting patches, ChangeLog entries also have the advantage that they can be submitted with the patch, and they provide a more detailed description of the changes that were done to each file, and why.

Finally, the obvious advantage of a ChangeLog is that every source code distribution/tarball will include it. Subversion logs are only
available if you use subversion.

I still see your point - particularly for new software, written from scratch by a single person and not yet really released, it is faster to just code it all and write short subversion logs for each commit - it sounds superfluous to also write ChangeLog entries. But once the software is quite finished and stable, is widely used and released, and we're polishing it while being extremely careful not to break things, then a more careful approach where every change is documented in great detail (and even redundantly) looks
good to me. ;-)

So maybe we could adopt a different approach depending on the project. I certainly think ChangeLogs are very good for the core


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]