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Re: changelogs in packages and space use

On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 10:09:09 -0500
Eric Sandeen <sandeen redhat com> wrote:

> David Cantrell wrote:
> > Arbitrarily deciding to remove all changelog entries older than 1 year is stupid.  For some packages you'll end up with one entry (or none!) and for some packages you probably won't make a dent (kernel?).
> It seems reasonable to me, as a simple starting point, to ask
> maintainers to trim changelogs to information that is relevant to that
> %{VERSION}.  (maybe last 2 versions).  Ideally that changelog would
> contain documentation for all patches still carried, and go back to the
> changelog entry that bumped the version (or 2).  Perhaps if that version
> bump caused patches to be removed, that should also be in the changelog,
> with rationale ("patch FOO removed, now upstream").

I think this is fine as a distribution policy that package maintainers should follow, sort of a best practices approach.

> If the changelog entries have the format:
> * <date> <author> <version>
> then presumably automated checks could be run for changelog entries
> older than the current revision (or 2), and warnings or errors issued.
> If you must know what happened before that, go get the older rpm and
> take a peek.

I don't think an automated script to prune changelogs is necessary or even a good idea.  Package maintainers should be told what best practices to follow and that's it.  We shouldn't be relying on so many housekeeping scripts that may or may not work.

Packages vary greatly, especially the changelog data.  Some packages are essentially the upstream source for a project, so that changelog may be way more verbose than something we just compile and pack up.

I think it's a task for the package maintainer and not a script.

> I know this doesn't address the replicated data issue, but it might
> address the size of the data being replicated, at least :)

But it's sort of pointless to go to the trouble to remove a relatively minor amount of text to gain a small amount of space.  I think time is better spent solving the actual problem.

David Cantrell <dcantrell redhat com>
Red Hat / Westford, MA

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