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Re: Improving CHANGES (or at least making it easier to produce)

From: Branko Čibej <brane_at_wandisco.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2013 23:45:24 +0200

On 30.08.2013 23:38, Ben Reser wrote:
> On 8/30/13 4:01 AM, Branko Čibej wrote:
>> A log message should describe what changed in the code. Automatically
>> generating release notes and/or CHANGES from log messages is, in my
>> experience, quite impractical. A better approach would be to require the
>> CHANGES file to be updated in the same commit as the actual relevant
>> change. But even that's not realistic, because often such a change will
>> be split across several commits -- or, for example, developed on a branch.
> I'm going to respond to Branko's email because he brings up some important
> points, but in general I'm replying to everyone.
>
> I agree completely automated generation is a not going to happen. My
> motivation is to just make the job easier. It can take a lot of time to figure
> out what to say to users when producing CHANGES. This is a much less ambitious
> goal than full automation.
>
> Making commits to CHANGES along side your other changes is a bad idea. Let me
> explain why:
>
> 1) Conflicts. CHANGES on trunk is drastically different than CHANGES on the
> branches. So it'll increase the hoop jumping we have to do to avoid conflicts
> when backporting changes.
>
> 2) Backporting. We are never really sure what we're going to backport. 1.9.x
> should not mention a change that was included in say 1.8.6. It's not a change
> from the user's perspective. So it's entirely unclear where you should add
> your data to the CHANGES file. Already the fact that we start putting 1.9.x
> CHANGES entries into trunk messes up release.py's attempt to detect unmerged
> CHANGES. I've changed that to a warning. I haven't objected to this practice
> because I think it makes sense to put things we know we'll never backport in
> CHANGES. But we also can't just start doing it all the time.
>
> We also can't require changes entries be attached to commits since sometimes
> we're commiting fixes to things that were never released in a broken state. So
> there is no effective change as far as a user is concerned.
>
> If you look at the 411 Content-Length issue I think any attempt to put the
> CHANGES entry in the log files would have been a mess.
>
> Putting details from the user perspective in the commit message is still
> helpful in that case, since the person nominating a change may not be the
> person who wrote the change. Also sometimes what we thought the user impact
> was at commit time is incomplete. We find many times where a change made for
> one reason fixes something else and we decide to backport it for that reason.
>
> So I felt that STATUS was a reasonable compromise for now.

Right. The question then is, how do we migrate the 1.8 backport CHANGES
to trunk? Or do you expect this to be a manual step during the creation
of the release branch?

-- Brane

-- 
Branko Čibej | Director of Subversion
WANdisco // Non-Stop Data
e. brane_at_wandisco.com
Received on 2013-08-30 23:45:58 CEST

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