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Re: original package changelogs

Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> writes:

> Please be aware of the difference between NEWS files and ChangeLog files
> in the GNU coding standards document. Most upstreams completely ignore
> this difference. GNU NEWS[3] files are a list of user-visible changes
> for each release. The GNU coding standards document doesn't recommend
> any specific format for NEWS files. I'd recommend looking at the various
> GNU packages for ideas. I include release version numbers, dates and the
> list of changes, maybe split up into sections.

Personally, I think that ChangeLog files, in the style of the GNU
ChangeLog, have been made completely obsolete given the existence of
publicly-accessible VCSes.  If I want that level of granularity of
information about what changed when, I'll just clone the upstream
repository and ask with git log or the equivalent.

Even if one doesn't entirely agree with that, I think NEWS is far and away
the more useful of the two files.  Usually the full changelog has an
overwhelming amount of detail and isn't horribly useful at answering
users' questions.

All of the packages for which I'm both upstream and the Debian packager
have no traditional ChangeLog file, only NEWS, and install the upstream
NEWS file as /usr/share/doc/<package>/changelog.gz.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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