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Re: NEWS.Debian files

On Sat, Jul 06, 2002 at 09:13:51PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:

> Like the changelog.Debian (and unlike README.Debian, which would still
> be used to record more general debian-specific info), the NEWS.Debian
> would be in a machine parseable format, so tools like apt-listchanges
> could work out if a new news item is relevent and display it. A user
> might want to see both changelogs and NEWS, or just one.

Hmm, I wish I could have been there to participate in the discussion.
I agree that it would be valuable to separate news type items from the more
utilitarian changelog.  However, I wonder if a separate file is the way to

This was my thought process when I read this:

- So, what file format will the NEWS file use?

- How about the changelog format?

- If it is in the same format, why have a separate file at all?

Maybe the way to go would be to tag specific changelog items as news items.
Maintainers already do this, but not in a standardized way, with things like
'WARNING: ', 'NOTICE: ', etc.  This way, people who like reading changelogs
could still get the same information in the same format, and folks who just
want news can have those items automatically filtered for them.

For example:

hello (1.01) unstable; urgency=low

 * New upstream release
 * NEWS: if your personal configuration file uses the 'bar' option, it will
   break.  Here's how to fix it
 * blah blah

 -- ...

This would require making the '*' convention a policy, rather than just a

 - mdz

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