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Re: Removing ChangeLog [Was Re: 2.26 hard freeze status]

On Thursday 03 August 2017 03:45 PM, Rical Jasan wrote:
> What struck me was the repeated sense of loss of history, in [1]:
> "How would the information that is normally available in a ChangeLog
> file be populated if all that information is in the VCS?  That would
> still be needed for normal tarballs and the like when VCS is out the
> window."
> "History has a really bad memory, just because one uses a VCS today
> doesn't mean that this will be available in 10, 20, 30 years in any
> usable format, or it might vanish completley.
> I've saved a few projects that used some sort of VCS, but was lost for
> different reasons, and having had ChangeLog files would have saved many
> many hours of headaches.  Now all that is left is a tarball, with no
> information about who, when, or what was changed."
> "If you put ChangeLog entries in the commit message, then yes this
> information will be available.  But if you discard ChangeLog entries
> completley, I do not see how it can be available.  ...  The information
> also becomes totally lost as soon as you discard the VCS (i.e. when
> doing releases)."

The argument is self-contradictory, i.e. it talks about the idea that
VCS will be gone and that its data could not be relied upon, yet
considers it OK if ChangeLog entries are part of the commit message,
implying that there's something special in the ChangeLog format itself
that makes this OK.  Loss of VCS is a catastrophic scenario and a dump
of git log --stat at every release I think is a decent enough fallback
if that happens.

> "It also makes a strong assumption on tools, and history has shown that
> tools come and go but text files stay."
> while I was trying to reconcile this comment, in [2]:
> "People who keep suggesting git as a solution miss the point of being
> able to extract this information in a archivable format."

Tools do come and go, but more importantly, they go because they have
evolved.  History consolidation from cvs/svn to git was flawed because
of our flawed usage of VCS where we dumped changes in batches instead of
separating logically distinct changes into smaller incremental patches
(something I insist on in my patch reviews) and not because of the
limitations of the tools themselves.

Anyway, I guess it is not correct to fork the discussion from the
bug-standards ML to here.  I would personally like to see the ChangeLog
go away as I see it as an unnecessary hurdle to contribution, but I
don't feel strongly enough about it at the moment to participate in that


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