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About ChangeLogs

From: Yavor Doganov
Subject: About ChangeLogs
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 09:05:40 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Pan/0.133 (House of Butterflies)

В Wed, 25 Aug 2010 19:12:36 +0100, David Chisnall написа:

> [2] So can the rant about how the ChangeLog requires developers to
> remember to manually track stuff that svn tracks automatically.

ChangeLogs are required by the GNU Coding Standards.  (It is not
necessary to maintain them manually, though.)  For some pretty good
arguments why this is not a spurious requirement, see this thread:

I can only add that proper ChangeLogs/NEWS are invaluable for me as a
user, and as a downstream maintainer.

Some projects keep maintaining ChangeLog files in the VCS (emacs,
autotools, gnulib), while others generate them automatically at `make
dist' time (coreutils, guile).  In both cases, a strict discipline in
commit messages is necessary (the new GNU package vc-changelog can
help in this regard); IOW, the commit message should be exactly the
ChangeLog entry for that particular change, with TABs stripped.

No wonder that resorting to `svn blame' annoys you -- GNUstep
commit messages are free form, and the message often has nothing to do
with the relevant ChangeLog entry.

It is also a long-standing GNU practice to put explanations
about the code change as comments in the code, and *not* as tirades
(taking the form of rants, occasionally) in the commit message and/or the
ChangeLog entry.  That way they are persistent and obvious for the
person reading/investigating the exact part of the code.

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