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Re: Editing history... (about debian/changelog in experimental)

Jeroen van Wolffelaar <jeroen@wolffelaar.nl> writes:

> On Wed, Jan 12, 2005 at 01:01:34PM -0500, Jay Berkenbilt wrote:
>> ... or put an entry in the latest changelog block with a parenthetical
>> remark saying that bug was actually fixed by version x.y-z.
> I've seen this done more often, and frankly, in my opinion this really
> is ugly. There is text in a changelog entry that has _nothing_ to do
> with that particular revision, better close the bug manually by just
> quoting the older changelog entry, or if it wasn't in the older
> changelog entry, just say it was fixed there.

Yes, this makes sense.  Generally I would just close the bug manually,
but I hadn't considered the other option to be worse.  [Edits brain.
Saves.]  Okay, I agree now.

> Branden Robinson told me that he does changelog editing of past
> revisions continuously for X, for reasons of being able to correctly
> lookup when a certain bug was fixed. Especially typo's in bugnumber for
> example can make a changelog quite useless if I want to determine when a
> certain bug was fixed, and a correct changelog makes it very easy to
> close bugs that were fixed some time ago by quoting the relevant
> changelog entry.

I like that idea too.  Policy section 4.4 states:

   Mistakes in changelogs are usually best rectified by making a new
   changelog entry rather than "rewriting history" by editing old
   changelog entries.

This is the source of my habits on this point.  When I really think
about it though, it seems much more useful for the latest changelog to
contain an accurate history than for the old version to equal the new
version minus new entries as I previously remarked.  Certainly
gratuitous changes should be avoided.  I suppose the word "usually" in
the above paragraph from the Policy is probably sufficient to allow
this type of editing.

Frank Küster <frank@debian.org> writes:

> Jay Berkenbilt <ejb@ql.org> wrote:
> > I personally feel that adding new changelog "blocks" is okay but
> > editing old changelog blocks isn't okay, even if you are going to do a
> > subsequent build with a -v when you go back to unstable.  I would
> > either close the bug manually or put an entry in the latest changelog
> > block with a parenthetical remark saying that bug was actually fixed
> > by version x.y-z.  I feel that if you grab any old version of a
> > package, the changelog should look identical to the current changelog
> > after you remove all blocks whose date is later than the date of the
> > old version.
> I generally agree, but does this really hold for experimental? And
> there's quite a benefit in having sensible, well-readable, comprehensive
> changelogs for people using stable (and looking at old versions).

I don't see why changelog entries for experimental should be handled
any differently from changelog entries for unstable.  Based on my
revised opinion, I guess that means it's sensible to go back and edit
old entries under very specific circumstances.  (I suppose one could
always have an entry in the most recent changelog block that says,
"Corrected erroneous changelog entry from version x.y-z" but this
seems like it doesn't really do anyone any good and isn't really

Jay Berkenbilt <ejb@ql.org>

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