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William Grant 11-12-2008 08:16 AM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
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Hi all,

I'm sending this after a bit of a discussion in #launchpad a few hours ago.

In Launchpad 1.2.3 and earlier, fairly detailed changelogs were sent out
with the release notes. Since then, one has had to trawl through
launchpad-project's fixed milestoned bugs and work out what effect the
fix will have.

Why were they stopped? Even before 1.2.3 they started getting less
usefully detailed.

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William Grant
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"Matthew Revell" 11-12-2008 01:18 PM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
Hi William,

2008/11/12 William Grant <wgrant@ubuntu.com>:

> I'm sending this after a bit of a discussion in #launchpad a few hours ago.
>
> In Launchpad 1.2.3 and earlier, fairly detailed changelogs were sent out
> with the release notes. Since then, one has had to trawl through
> launchpad-project's fixed milestoned bugs and work out what effect the
> fix will have.
>
> Why were they stopped? Even before 1.2.3 they started getting less
> usefully detailed.

As intellectronica touched on in the #launchpad conversation, one of
the reasons for changing the format of the release announcements was
to bring more focus to them.

The release announcement goes out very widely so we focus on what is
likely to be of interest to most Launchpad users. For big changes that
are of interest to a limited group, we communicate directly with that
group.

Our assumption - and the fact that we've had perhaps just two
complaints seems to back this up - is that most people aren't
interested in the minutiae of a Launchpad release. If they're
interested in a particular bug, they can subscribe to the bug report
and see when it's fixed.

Your mention of trawling through the milestone pages suggests that
this isn't working for you. Is that because you find the interface
hard work or something else?

gmb suggested in the irc conversation that we could produce both the
big announcement and a more traditional changelog. That's certainly a
possibility but I'd want to make sure it was going to be useful to
quite a few people and that it would definitely do something beyond
what's available now, before I commit to producing it each month.

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Emilio Pozuelo Monfort 11-12-2008 05:03 PM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
William Grant wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm sending this after a bit of a discussion in #launchpad a few hours ago.
>
> In Launchpad 1.2.3 and earlier, fairly detailed changelogs were sent out
> with the release notes. Since then, one has had to trawl through
> launchpad-project's fixed milestoned bugs and work out what effect the
> fix will have.
>
> Why were they stopped? Even before 1.2.3 they started getting less
> usefully detailed.
>

As I said in [1], +1. IMHO they were more useful to get an overview of what has
changed.

Cheers,
Emilio

[1] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/launchpad-users/2008-September/004226.html

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shirish 11-12-2008 06:50 PM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
Hi all,
Detailed changelogs are good. I always want to know what happened
behind the scenes although don't know how many people would be looking
for this one.

+ 1 from me.
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"Tom Berger" 11-12-2008 10:08 PM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
2008/11/12 Matthew Revell <matthew.revell@canonical.com>:
> ...
> Your mention of trawling through the milestone pages suggests that
> this isn't working for you. Is that because you find the interface
> hard work or something else?
>
> gmb suggested in the irc conversation that we could produce both the
> big announcement and a more traditional changelog. That's certainly a
> possibility but I'd want to make sure it was going to be useful to
> quite a few people and that it would definitely do something beyond
> what's available now, before I commit to producing it each month.

I would be much more interested in us working with users to figure out
how the milestone views can be improved, than just asking Matt to go
back to producing changelogs. We now make sure that every merge has a
bug associated with it, so there's no information missing from that
view. If the layout is not what users expect, we can work on improving
it. When we improve Launchpad, all projects using it benefit, so
that's another reason to spend our time doing that, rather than
copy'n'pasting commit messages.

Tom

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"Martin Pool" 11-12-2008 11:45 PM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 12:18 AM, Matthew Revell
<matthew.revell@canonical.com> wrote:
> Your mention of trawling through the milestone pages suggests that
> this isn't working for you. Is that because you find the interface
> hard work or something else?
>
> gmb suggested in the irc conversation that we could produce both the
> big announcement and a more traditional changelog. That's certainly a
> possibility but I'd want to make sure it was going to be useful to
> quite a few people and that it would definitely do something beyond
> what's available now, before I commit to producing it each month.

Maybe there could be a little script to dump the milestone comments
into a form suitable for mail?

For Bazaar we now (eg
http://doc.bazaar-vcs.org/bzr.1.9/en/release-notes/NEWS.html) have a
summary paragraph for the release plus a detailed summary. Maybe that
would work for Launchpad.

I do think the summary that works in a NEWS file can be quite
different to what's in a bug description, and it is more useful to
people who want to see what's changed. On the other hand I don't envy
Matthew needing to produce this every month. Maybe you should, as we
do, have developers add to the file, and then Matthew could just edit
the existing text.

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Barry Warsaw 11-13-2008 12:00 AM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
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On Nov 12, 2008, at 6:08 PM, Tom Berger wrote:

> I would be much more interested in us working with users to figure out
> how the milestone views can be improved, than just asking Matt to go
> back to producing changelogs.

We have a few things up our sleeve here. We'll see how they turn
out :).

- -Barry

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William Grant 11-13-2008 12:03 AM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
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Matthew Revell wrote:
> Your mention of trawling through the milestone pages suggests that
> this isn't working for you. Is that because you find the interface
> hard work or something else?

Quite some bugs end up private due to containing code or design
information, so mortals like us can't see the more interesting changes
on milestone pages. The bug summaries also aren't always representative
of the fix - I wouldn't have guessed that the fix for "Make OpenID
identifier human readable" would have actually removed the more human
readable identifier.

There are also lots of LP internals listed. I don't care that your OOPS
tools are now better. I don't want to know that setting a db_policy to
None in some non-public configuration crashes. Nor do I want to know
that doctests failed and were fixed. Code cleanups and extensions that
don't directly affect users are also irrelevant.

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William Grant
Ubuntu Developer
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William Grant 11-13-2008 12:06 AM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
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Barry Warsaw wrote:
> On Nov 12, 2008, at 6:08 PM, Tom Berger wrote:
>
>> I would be much more interested in us working with users to figure out
>> how the milestone views can be improved, than just asking Matt to go
>> back to producing changelogs.
>
> We have a few things up our sleeve here. We'll see how they turn
> out :).

Now that is what I don't like - why aren't these designs public? Is this
going to be another instance of a surprise change that ~launchpad thinks
will improve things, but in fact is awful, and that we don't find out
about until it's too late?

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Christian Robottom Reis 11-18-2008 08:16 AM

Bringing back useful Launchpad changelogs
 
On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 12:06:17PM +1100, William Grant wrote:
> >> I would be much more interested in us working with users to figure out
> >> how the milestone views can be improved, than just asking Matt to go
> >> back to producing changelogs.
> >
> > We have a few things up our sleeve here. We'll see how they turn
> > out :).
>
> Now that is what I don't like - why aren't these designs public? Is this
> going to be another instance of a surprise change that ~launchpad thinks
> will improve things, but in fact is awful, and that we don't find out
> about until it's too late?

In this case I don't know about the plan either, so Barry please tell us
more about these things up your sleeve!
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