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Re: Horrific new levels of changelog abuse

On Tue, 16 Sep 2003, Matt Zimmerman wrote:

> This is starting to happen far too often for my comfort, so I feel the need
> to rant a bit.
> After I took the time to track down this bug and send a patch to the BTS,
> when you finally fixed the bug a year later, the least you could do is to
> actually document the change in the changelog.  Is this really too much to
> ask?  The changelog is not a bug-closing device, it's a place to document
> changes.
> This section in the developer's reference has a good set of guidelines for
> writing useful changelog entries, and I would be forever grateful if anyone
> who has not read it already would do so.
> http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-best-pkging-practices.en.html#s-bpp-debian-changelog

As an example of how a nice changelog is written, see below the recently
uploaded changelog for dpkg 1.10.11.

This *entire* changelog(outside of the dpkg-source fix that Wichert did at the
top) was done Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  This includes actually fixing the
source, adding the entry to the upstream and debian changelogs, and the
requiste perusing of the large(861 bugs) dpkg bug list(which included me
retitling a bunch of crap).

So, if people say they don't have enough time to do even half of what I did, I
shall call them liars.  It doesn't take hardly any time *at all* to add *some*
kind of detail.  I mean, you've taken the time to read the debian bug, and
you've taken the time to read the upstream source(or changelog).  Why not take
5 more seconds to type in a short summary of the bug in the debian changelog?

dpkg (1.10.11) unstable; urgency=low

  * dpkg no longer provides any BYHAND files.  If you need the source
    tarball, use the orig.tar.gz file available in the pool.  The
    precompiled tars were hold-overs from when debs were not standard
    ar/tar files.
  * Install /usr/share/doc/dpkg/pseudo-tags, which talks about the bug
    titling we use to mark bugs for filtering in the Debian bts.
  * Updated ca.po.
  * Teach dpkg-source that ~ is legal in version numbers
  * Add build-depends on sgml-base, and increase gettext build-depends to
  * Updated config.sub and config.guess in cvs.
  * Change use of strncpy in parsedb to memcpy.  Closes: #160447
  * No longer generate helpmsgs.{cc,h}.
  * several controllib changes:
    * Moved dependency parsing logic from dpkg-checkbuilddeps.
      The dpkg-checkbuilddeps parser didn't support empty fields, while
      the controllib parser did.
    * All dependency fields parsed by controllib.pl support [arch]
      specifiers.  If the arch specifier doesn't apply for the current
      arch, then the item will not be added to the internal list structure.
    * Comment lines(that begin with '#') are removed during parsing.
    * Store the original casing of field names, for use in error reporting.
    * Store the original field's casing with 'o:' prepended in %fi.
      * ballombe@merulo.debian.org:
        dpkg-checkbuilddeps now handles empty fields.  Closes: #111562
      * Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
        support comments(first char on line begins with '#') in
        debian/control.  Closes: #191810
      * Bastian Blank <waldi@debian.org>:
        Allow for per-arch generated dependency fields.  Closes: #170575
      * Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
        Report the original casing of field names when they are unknown.
        Closes: #177753
  * Patch dpkg-buildpackage to call debian/rules -qn build-arch, and if
    it's available, modify -B handling appropriately.  If build-arch is not
    available, then when -B was called, do *not* pass -B on to
    dpkg-checkbuilddeps.  Closes: #203097
  * Frank Lichtenheld <frank@lichtenheld.de>:
    Apply patch, to handle missing infodir.bak, and empty files.  Closes:
  * Change standard_startup and standard_shutdown into macros.  Closes:
  * Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>:
    Fix inverted test of eof in parsedb, while looking for eof after
    field name.  Closes: #198218
  * Yann Dirson <dirson@debian.org>
    Add set -e to dpkg-doc.postinst.  Closes: #191261
  * Michael Weber <michaelw@debian.org>:
    dpkg --print-architecture now does gcc -dumpmachine instead of
    --print-libgcc-file-name.  Closes: #131893, #8241, #106793, #210285
  * Daniel Silverstone <dsilvers@digital-scurf.org>:
    Apply patch to change hashing function, and increase bin size, for
    the package database.  Closes: #206416
  * Paul Eggert <eggert@CS.UCLA.EDU>:
    Apply patch to make dpkg work with POSIX 1003.1-2001.  Closes:
  * Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>:
    Fix "stripping trailing /" message from dpkg-statoverride.  Closes:
  * Sami Liedes <sliedes@cc.hut.fi>:
    Increase filesdb bin size, and alter hashing function.  Closes:
  * Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>:
    Retry removing empty dirs during purge.  Closes: #112386
  * Darren Salt <linux@youmustbejoking.demon.co.uk>:
    Add .cvsignore to dpkg-source's default diff ignore regex.  Also fix
    missing \ escape for .deps.  Closes: #174013
  * Koblinger Egmont <egmont@uhulinux.hu>:
    Fix segfault with --status-fd.  Closes: #173618
  * Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>,
    Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>:
    Add .svn, {arch}, and .arch-ids to dpkg-source -i default regex.
    Closes: #169359
  * Falk Hueffner <falk@debian.org>:
    Added alphaev68-linux-gnu to archtable.  Closes: #199360
  * Elie Rosenblum <fnord@debian.org>:
    Apply patch to support OpenBSD.  Closes: #154277
  * Geoff Richards <qef@laxan.com>:
    Add --config to action section, and add as EXAMPLES section.  Closes:
    #208014, #115759
  * Yann Dirson <dirson@debian.org>:
    install-info --version and --help now display on stdout.  Closes:
  * Dan Jacobson <jidanni@dman.ddts.net>:
    Mention what dpkg and dpkg-query -S will not find.  Closes: #153096
  * Sebastian Leske <sleske@enterprise.mathematik.uni-essen.de>:
    Mention in dpkg(8) that downgrading a package can have serious
    consequences.  Closes: #61156
  * Dan Jacobson <jidanni@dman.ddts.net>:
    In dpkg-scanpackages(8), including small note that other tools might
    use the generated Packages file.  Closes: #208894
  * Warren Turkal <wturkal@cbu.edu>:
    Fix some typos in dpkg-source(1).  Closes: #207259, #204123, #167426
  * Dan Jacobson <jidanni@dman.ddts.net>:
    Alter text in dselect(8), implying that other interfaces are available
    for installing packages.  Closes: #206164.
  * Daniel Bonniot <bonniot@users.sourceforge.net>:
    Note in start-stop-daemon(8) that --nicelevel takes an argument.
  * Ruben Porras <nahoo82@telefonica.net>:
    Remove duplicate 'can' in deb-control(5).  Closes: #183840
  * Dan Jacobson <jidanni@dman.ddts.net>:
    Fix short description in dpkg-scansources(8).  Closes: #175770
  * Zefram <zefram@fysh.org>:
    In dpkg(8), move dpkg-query options to their own subsection, like
    dpkg-deb.  Closes: #174971
  * Thomas Hood <jdthood@yahoo.co.uk>
    Add --dry-run and --simulate as synonyms to --no-act.  Closes:
  * Junichi Uekawa <dancer@netfort.gr.jp>:
    Fix wrong reference to DEB_BUILD_GNU_SYSTEM on --host in
    dpkg-architecture(1).  Closes: #163621
  * Michael Klein <michael.klein@puffin.lb.shuttle.de>:
    s/Usuaully/Usually/ in deb-control.5.  Closes: #161819
  * Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>:
    Removed reference in dselect(8) about recommends not being handled
    well.  Closes: #157973
  * Andrew Suffield <aps100@doc.ic.ac.uk>:
    s/dpkg-source/dpkg-parsechangelog/ in dpkg-parsechangelog -h.
    Closes: #155822
  * Matej Vela <vela@debian.org>:
    Unhighlight "May be repeated multiple times." in dpkg-source(1).
    Closes: #151845
  * Jordi Mallach <jordi@debian.org>:
    Make all actions in dpkg-deb -h lower case.  Closes: #150642
  * Alexander Hvostov <root@aoi.dyndns.org>:
    Add -g|--group to start-stop-daemon, and document properly.  Closes:
  * Szerb Tamas <toma@mlf.linux.rulez.org>:
    s/THANKS/THANKS.gz/ in dpkg(8).  Closes: #91348
  * "James R. Van Zandt" <jrv@vanzandt-pc.mitre.org>:
    In dpkg(8), mention running dselect, install after --set-selections.
    Closes: #175236
  * Yann Dirson <dirson@debian.org>:
    Remove disabled --command-fd from help.  Closes: #169619
  * Tobias Burnus <tburnus@physik.fu-berlin.de>:
    Apply patch to update-alternatives that provides --set and --remove-all
    commands.  Closes: #133745.
  * Osamu Aoki <debian@aokiconsulting.com>:
    Add --all to update-alternatives, that calls --config on all
    alternatives.  Closes: #126621
  * Dan Jacobson <jidanni@jidanni.org>:
    Alter --config prompt, to be more clear, that one must 'press' enter to
    accept the default.  Closes: #203557
  * Peter Moulder <pmoulder@bowman.csse.monash.edu.au>:
    Fix some -w issues in update-alternatives.  Closes: #137313
  * Eduard Bloch <edi@gmx.de>:
    Apply patch to check whether the target path exists on removing.
    Closes: #37254
  * Colin Walters <walters@debian.org>:
    After opening files, set binmode.  Closes: #175363

 -- Adam Heath <doogie@debian.org>  Tue, 16 Sep 2003 12:52:11 -0500

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