[webkit-dev] Changes to prepare-ChangeLog

Jeremy Orlow jorlow at chromium.org
Fri Jul 3 10:44:20 PDT 2009

On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Peter Kasting <pkasting at google.com> wrote:

> Since this seems to have become the new bikeshed, I'll chime in with my
> color preference:
> ----
> Reviewed by John Smith (jsmith at webkit.org)
> https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=123456
> Fix WebKit being not awesome enough.  Make five files more awesome.
> ----
> FWIW, I agree with those who desire to ditch the ChangeLog.  WebKit is the
> only project I've worked on that does such a thing, and I have never gotten
> any benefit out of it, while I've gotten lots of headache (merge conflicts
> especially).  On Chromium, patches are given a detailed ChangeLog-esque
> description which is visible in the review tool and becomes the commit log
> message as well (which links back to the review URL, and is also auto-pasted
> into the original bug report).  This way from any of (bug system, commit
> logs, review system) you can find information about a particular patch or
> search for patches matching some comment.  This turns out to work quite well
> in practice.  In WebKit I try to give my patches these sorts of comments
> when I post them for review, but duplicating info between the ChangeLog and
> the review comments always makes me write less than I otherwise would, and
> review comments tend to get buried in the sea of noise from bugzilla.

I agree that the ChangeLog really is duplicate information and generally a
pain to update.

I know that there are some people who really like them.  Why not fill them
in automatically?  Just have a tool that once a night/hour/checkin generates
entries for the new checkins and puts it somewhere on the web or checks it

I know one of the concerns was reviews.  What I do anyway is copy the
ChangeLog description into the optional long description field when posting
the patch, why not do that?  Maybe it'd even be easy to display that
somewhere on the review UI, but otherwise it seems fine to just open the
review in another tab in case you need to refer back to it.

It seems like the ChangeLog is just a work-around for a lack of tools.  And
it seems like it wouldn't be too hard to make the tools we've got better.
(And yes, I'll even help out if that's the direction everyone chooses to
take.  :-)

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