[Reportbug-maint] reportbug project: Changelog entries versus VCS commit messages

Sandro Tosi matrixhasu at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 13:40:21 UTC 2008

>> However, documenting minor changes may mean that the larger and more
>> important changes that we want people to know would really be 'lost
>> in the crowd', so to speak.  I would say, use your good judgement :)
> This is my concern too. If the package changelog documents
> purely-internal changes as well as user-visible changes, it becomes
> far too verbose for users.

So, what should I write in changelog if I did only internal changes?
nothing? that's wrong! I think you should contact more DDs (I'm not,
yet) and ask what they think: NONE of them ever complained about my
changelog (they usually request to be more verbose than less), and I
do believe they are right.

> Better that the changelog documents only changes that are
> user-visible, so that the binary package contains a changelog that is
> of use to the user.

If a user what to read something, he/she have to do it carefully, and
even internal or "external" changes could be important for him/her,
mainly because reportbug has a widespread user audience, with many
user interested in low-level changes too (or would you discriminate

>> > for sure there is a need to document them (consider a new
>> > developer stepping in and wanted to know when a file has changed
>> > and why), hence debian/changelog it the best place to do it.
>> For this, I think svn log of the file is the best source.  Also,
>> usually all the files (and the content of those files) that changed
>> for a given fix or a modification is of greater importance.
> Yes. The new developer should be using the VCS log history to become
> familiar with the flow of changes to the source, *and* the package
> changelog to see what user-visible changes have been occurring. The
> former is far too much information for end-users, though, so should
> not go into the package changelog.

Again, that's wrong! moreover, if that would be in a license, that
would fail the "desert island" test, hence it would fail DFSG.

*I* will continue with what I think it's the right way to write
debian/changelog (supported by many DDs and moreover by policy), of
course you are free to do what's best for you to get the work done.

That's all IMVHO,

Sandro Tosi (aka morph, Morpheus, matrixhasu)
My website: http://matrixhasu.altervista.org/
Me at Debian: http://wiki.debian.org/SandroTosi

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