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Old 10-26-2011, 05:02 PM
Fabian Groffen
Default ChangeLog generation within Gentoo


As decided by the Council in its last meeting at the beginning of this
month, ChangeLogs will not be generated from VCS commit messages,
because the Council wants to keep the ability to edit generated
ChangeLog messages [1].

As a result, the Council took this up with the Portage team, to make
repoman update the ChangeLog file upon `repoman commit'.

Because some of the reasons put forward for autogenerating ChangeLogs
was the actual speed of making a commit, repoman does not call
echangelog, but instead uses its information about the current state of
the VCS directory it already collected to do its QA checks to write a
ChangeLog entry directly from Python (in which repoman is written).

To facilitate those developers who have echangelog, or their own scripts
that do the same, hardwired into their systems, repoman commit will by
default *NOT* update the ChangeLog if it is already modified. This
allows to run echangelog followed by repoman commit, without getting a
double ChangeLog entry.

However, this also allows to do all kinds of other actions to the
ChangeLog file, without actually adding an entry for the current change
being committed, as we've already seen in practice.
The Council would like to remind developers that it is still a
requirement that all actions are documented in the ChangeLog and that it
is hence the responsibility of the committing developer to make sure
this requirement is met.

Repoman in the most recent Portage versions in the tree, has an
--echangelog flag, that takes the argument `y', `n' or `force'. The
default for this option can be set to yes or no, and is controlled by
metadata/layout.conf. For the `gentoo' (gentoo-x86) repository, this is
set to true, which results in the previously described behaviour.

When the ChangeLog is modified, but a new entry should still be written
by repoman, --echangelog=force will accomplish this. Obviously, passing
--echangelog=n makes repoman skip writing a ChangeLog entry at all.

The Council hopes to have informed all developers sufficiently through
this message.

[1] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/council/meeting-logs/20111011-summary.txt

Fabian Groffen
Gentoo on a different level

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