Re: Why have a ChangeLog file if you already have commit messages?

On Mon, 2007-09-17 at 12:11 +0200, Sebastien Bacher wrote:
> Le lundi 17 septembre 2007 �0:49 +0100, Emmanuele Bassi a �it :
> > generating a ChangeLog from the git log is something that should be done
> > at release time, when you are preparing the tarball, as the users of the
> > package have no access to the git repository history.
> looks like we don't have the same definition of maintaining a ChangeLog,
> if you generate one from git when rolling a tarball that's good enough
> for people using the tarballs

yes, because - as I said - that's the only place where you actually
*need* a ChangeLog (or a NEWS file, even though I still prefer to read
ChangeLogs because they tend to be more verbose).

if the SCM you're using preserves the entire history of the project
under its own log system, and when you get the repository from the
origin you also get the entire revision history (as is the case with
bzr, hg and git, for instance) then having a file under revision control
that tells you the exact same information (or less information, as it's
the case with git) is of no use. with a distributed SCM, it can even be
a source of conflicts when the maintainer is merging the work of
different contributors, so is even less beneficial to the developers and
the users checking out a project.

in git's case from the log you can get the actual diff (and diffstat
output) of a commit with a single command (or, if you're using giggle,
which I strongly recommend, you'll get it together with the log) -
which, in my book, beats a list of files and functions every day of the
week and twice on Sundays.


Emmanuele Bassi,

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