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Please don't misuse the debian/changelog to close bugs!



        Hi!

 Alright, this happened far too often lately to be ignored. This must
stop, pretty please.  The developers-reference[1] isn't written just for
fun.

 Yes, writing "closes: #123" in a changelog a really easy way to close a
bugreport. But it is not the golden calf! Don't overdo it, don't overuse
it.

 Thinks like this don't have to do anything in a debian/changelog:

 * This isn't really a bug (closes: #123)
 * The foo program does indeed work as intended (closes: #123)
 * This is on purpose and not a bug (closes: #123)

 Simple rule: If there are no changes in the package (by either yourself
or upstream) that makes the bug (or no bug) go away, then _DON'T_ close
it with the changelog. The reason for the changelog is to list
*changes*. If there aren't any changes then it must not be listed in
there. Please read developers-reference section 5.8.4., especially the
later paragraphs.

 (especially the first listed example is almost identically listed in
the developers-reference section 6.3.3., which *everyone* has read,
right?)

 So, how to resolve such bugs, then?  Quite simple: Write to
<123-done@bugs.debian.org> and add a note about why you think the bug is
fixed and doesn't need a change in the package.

 I hope the people that weren't sure about this get it this time, and
don't take it too personal. But it is sad that it seems to be needed to
be written.

 During some of the discussions lately on debian-devel another usage of
the changelog has risen interest:

 * New upstream release (closes: #123, #124, #125)

 This has also raised some discussions. The thing is this: If #123,
#124 and #125 aren't just "New upstream version available" bugreports
then quite some people dislike this behavior. It shouldn't be too much
hazzle for the maintainer to rewrite this as follows:

 * New upstream release (closes: #123) which includes:
   - tmpfile race condition fix (closes: #124)
   - manual page included (closes: #125)

 The thing is: It helps the users and the person who reported the bug to
see what bug exactly was closed without the need for them to dig in the
BTS. This is no must but it is something your users would be greatful if
you could do it.

 Thanks for the attention,
Alfie
[1] apt-get install developers-reference
-- 
Frage: Wie heisst der Mann beim Krippenspiel?
Manu:  Jesus.
                                  -- Manu, Kontainerblondie in "Hast Du Töne"

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