Fernando J. Pereda’s blag

June 9, 2008

Getting rid of ChangeLog files

Filed under: blag — Tags: , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 10:34 pm

There’s been some discussion on exherbo’s development list about getting rid of ChangeLog files. With the move of our repositories to git this would be easy.

This doesn’t mean users won’t see ChangeLog files, it means we won’t have to manually generate them. It has some improvements:

  • Maintaining ChangeLog files by hand is a PITA
  • People can’t void ChangeLog files, if you commit, it automagically goes to the ChangeLog.
  • We can easily link ChangeLog entries with Git history (by including commit hashes)
  • Cross-package/category commits become less annoying (because of the two bullets above)
  • The repository size doesn’t increase stupidly

Generatiing ChangeLog files is quite easy using Git, and can be done incrementally.

The cons…. I really don’t know whether those exist in this particular case :) If you can think of any, I’m all ears (or eyes in this case).

— ferdy


  1. Instead of using ChangeLog files (which can be generated from commits/from history), take into consideration using something like RelNotes used in git development.


    Comment by Jakub Narebski — June 10, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  2. Thats a bit more difficult. Because the number of changes would be HUGE between releases.

    — ferdy

    Comment by Fernando J. Pereda — June 10, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  3. I’ve been thinking about it, and can’t really come up with any downsides to this either.

    It will definitely help out with cross package/category commits, since you’d be able to do them more easily all at once. I’ve had to do this a few times, like for the big Java migration a few years back and packaging from Xfce 4.2 to Xfce 4.4, and yeah… so much pain.

    Comment by Josh Nichols — June 11, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

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