changelog policy change request

G. Milde g.milde at
Fri Nov 25 09:14:19 UTC 2005

Dear fellow packagers,

The DJG-Guidelines currently says:

  The debian/changelog entries should look like this:
  jed-cool (1.2.3-4) unstable; urgency=low
    +++ Changes by Joe Developer:
    * Rebuilt with cool stuff
    +++ Changes by Sam Debianer:
    * Cool tweaks

tells in the section 6.3 Best practices for debian/changelog:

  Concentrate on describing significant and user-visible changes that were
  made since the last version. 

  Focus on what was changed - who, how and when are usually less important.
  Having said that, remember to politely attribute people who have provided
  notable help in making the package (e.g., those who have sent in patches). 

This goes with my experience, that the sorting of changes by contributor
creates a less usefull (for the end user) log. Problems arise also for the

  Joe changes A to B, Sam changes B to C  -> no need to mention B
  Joe introduces feature D, Sam realizes that this needs change E
  -> related changes should be grouped together.

A detailled info about who contributed what and when is still available at
the SVN logs.

I am not sure, whether it would be better to drop the "who" alltogether, or
e.g. to add initials or nicks:

  * changed A to C [JD, SD]
  * new feature D [JD]
    needs E [SD]


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