Another changelog format, automating the FTP server, etc.
> Does anyone have opinions about the ChangeLog format?
I would suggest we make it machine-readable.
That would make it a bit easier to look up changes for a
specific package, log changes for packages together, etc. It might even
allow us to automate the FTP site. I haven't looked at Ian Jackson's
format, so pardon me if I have duplicated any of his ideas. The fields
we use can be the same as the control file and the bug reporting
script, as in: Package:, Version:, Maintainer:, we can add "Date:", and
we can add a new field:
Files: <name> <size> <MD5-checksum> [, ...]
We might also want to add a new field to say where the package should be
installed on the FTP site:
The result might look like this:
Date: Tue Aug 22 08:01:24 PDT 1995
Maintainer: Bruce Perens <Bruce@Pixar.com>
Description: Upgraded to the upstream maintainers latest release.
This release contains a new feature: The System V "menu" interface.
Files: ncurses-1.9.4-0.deb 99435 0abcdefabcdefabcdef,
ncurses-1.9.4-0.diff.gz 99435 0abcdefabcdefabcdef,
ncurses-1.9.4-0.tar.gz 99435 0abcdefabcdefabcdef,
Now, say the automatic program at the FTP site receives this debian-changes
posting. It can look in Incoming and verify the files. If they pass
verification, it can move them to the destination. It may even be that we
mail the package announcements to the FTP server, and it only sends them
to debian-changes if the files all verify and it has installed them in the
right place - otherwise it bounces the message back to the maintainer for
repair. We can use PGP to verify that the package maintainer is
This also gives us a package-verification mechanism that can be used to
verify the packages at any point in the pipeline between main FTP site and