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Re: ChangeLog format

There's been some discussion of package announcement file format
recently.  I have some observations on matters relating to this.

Observation #1:  There are disconnects between package announcements
                 and the availability of packages in the distribution.

1.  Packages are generally announced to debian-changes by the package
    maintainer immediately after being uploaded.

2.  The announced packages generally become available in the general
    distribution after a delay of up to several days following their

3.  Sometimes, announced packages don't become available in the general
    distribution until after long delays.

4.  Occasionally, announced packages never do become available in the
    general distribution.

Observation #2:  It's been opined that the current dchanges(1) package
                 announcement format is very machine-readable.

Observation #3:  It's been opined that the current dchanges(1) package
                 announcement format is not very human-readable.

To address concerns growing out of these observations, current package
changes processing might be changed as follows:

1.  debain-changes becomes a read-only list, except for a restricted
    group of subscribers allowed to post there.

2.  Instead of being posted to debian-changes, packages announcements
    would be uploaded with the other package files.  Package
    announcements would be required to be in some particular
    format which is very machine-readable -- possibly the
    dchanges(1) format.

3.  Mechanized package announcements would be made to debian-changes
    as packages are moved from Incoming into the general distribution.
    The mechanized package-announcer would be the usual source of
    postings to debian-changes.

4.  If desired, the very machine-readable package announcement uploaded
    with the package might be translated into some other format deemed
    to be more human-readable my the mechanized package-announcer,
    and posted to debian-changes in that alternative format.

mitchell@mdd.comm.mot.com (Bill Mitchell)

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