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Re: NEWS.Debian files

On Mon, Jul 08, 2002 at 12:54:28PM -0400, Joe Drew wrote:

> Changelogs are often very verbose, with an entry for every change made to
> every file (hi Branden). The idea is to make debconf notes (which are
> intrusive, confusing and unnecessary) go away (or at least change into
> debconf "warnings" which are more along the lines of what they're intended
> for iirc) but still make it easy for people to read important news, like
> file format breakage.

Right.  This is why news items would be marked differently than other
changelog entries, both for visual filtering and programmatic filtering.

> If NEWS data were interspersed with changelog entries, it could be
> difficult for people to read it if they weren't running apt-listchanges
> (which presumably would separate them out) (and we can't expect everybody
> to run apt-listchanges). Having an easily readable file, like NEWS.Debian,
> which is also machine-readable, like the changelog format, would give us
> the best of both worlds, without the disgustingness of debconf notes (of
> which I too am guilty).

I think that this need would be adequately met by suggesting that news items
be placed ahead of other changelog entries, and clearly marked.  This is the
kind of thing that should be done anyway in a proper changelog.  That way,
we have the best of both worlds in the same file.  People (like me) who are
used to reading the changelog don't have to look in two places, and people
who only want the news can have that as well.

> > This would require making the '*' convention a policy, rather than just
> > a convention.
> Having NEWS.Debian would also allow the news items to be more-or-less
> freeform, although I envision a modified dch (dchnews?) which
> automatically makes news items the same way dch makes changelog items.

Or, dch could have a command-line option (-n doesn't appear to be taken)
which would add a news item to the changelog, instead of a non-news item.

 - mdz

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