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

Sandro Tosi matrixhasu at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 23:19:48 UTC 2008

> Sandro, please preserve attribution lines when you include quoted
> material. Omitting them means we don't know who wrote the material
> quoted at each level.

following your logic, you can check the thread to know who I'm referring to.

>> So, what should I write in changelog if I did only internal changes?
> I refer to the Developer's Reference "Best Practices" chapter

and in §1 that document states

  Furthermore, this document is not an expression of formal policy
  . It contains documentation for the Debian system and generally
  agreed-upon best practices. Thus, it is not what is called a
  ``normative'' document.

What I'm referring to is Debian Policy, "The Document" about what must
be in packages:

4.4. Debian changelog: `debian/changelog'

     Changes in the Debian version of the package should be briefly
     explained in the Debian changelog file `debian/changelog'.[1] This
     includes modifications made in the Debian package compared to the
     upstream one as well as other changes and updates to the package.  [2]
[2]  Although there is nothing stopping an author who is also the Debian
     maintainer from using this changelog for all their changes, it will
     have to be renamed if the Debian and upstream maintainers become
     different people.  In such a case, however, it might be better to
     maintain the package as a non-native package.

I'd like to highlight "as well as other changes and updates to the
package", so I'm following what Policy says, and that's the way to go,
no excuses.

> If the changes were purely internal, it appears you have nothing to
> tell the users, and thus (by the above best practice) nothing to put
> in the changelog.

I repeat, for me (end humbly for Policy too) that's simply wrong.

>> *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.
> This doesn't seem to be a good approach to the changelog, which is an
> important interface for our package. We should come to an agreement
> about what should go into the changelog, rather than each going our
> own way.

I can't see how can we come to an agreement, when someone with a
"little" more experience says something about the de-facto usage of
debian/changelog and it's not trusted. Please, contact real person,
real DDs, and ask them about it. Please, note that devref is just an
handbook, not normative, and written by developers for developers (and
we all know how devels are reluctant to write docs) and moreover it's
a really outdated doc (I reported ~15 bugs about stuff to be
removed/changed because obsolete) and it reports what is the de-facto
standards way of doing things in Debian, but before reach such level,
more and more people should start to use them, and d/ch is done the
way I do.


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

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