Delete ChangeLog files Was :Re: ChangeLog change to .ChangeLog

Cláudio Silva claudiodcsilva at
Thu Mar 7 09:46:02 UTC 2013

Just my two cents:

Quoting FSF:

"Another alternative is to record change log information with a
version control system such as RCS or CVS. This can be converted
automatically to a ChangeLog file using rcs2log;" [1]

"Keep correct records of which portions were written by whom. This is
very important. These records should say which files or parts of files
were written by each person, and which files or parts of files were
revised by each person." ... " These records don’t need to be as
detailed as a change log. They don’t need to distinguish work done at
different times, only different people." ...
"Please keep these records in a file named AUTHORS in the source
directory for the program itself... You can use the change log as the
basis for these records, if you wish. (...)  Later on you can update
the AUTHORS file from the change log. This can even be done
automatically, if you are careful about the formatting of the change
log entries." [2]

After reading this, I believe the important thing to know in matters
of copyright is who wrote what portion of a file. You can maintain
this contribution log by hand in a AUTHORS file, which can be part of
the change log, which in turn can be part of the VCS.
Again in git, both the commit message and the date/time are maintained
along side with the code and cannot be changed without changing the
commit SHA sum.
I also believe that if the what matters is who wrote a file or part of
a file, then a git blame can solve this question for all the commit
history. Git (or svn) blame shows who wrote what for each file in the
repository without doubt.

[1] -
[2] -

On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM, Sebastian Huber
<sebastian.huber at> wrote:
> On 03/06/2013 08:19 PM, Gedare Bloom wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM, Ralf Corsepius<ralf.corsepius at>
>> wrote:
>>> >On 03/06/2013 06:44 PM, Thomas Doerfler wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >>Ralf,
>>>> >>
>>>> >>Am 06.03.2013 18:34, schrieb Ralf Corsepius:
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>>On 03/06/2013 04:20 PM, Gedare Bloom wrote:
>>>>>> >>>>
>>>>>> >>>>If the ChangeLog entry text is by and large replicated already in
>>>>>> >>>> the
>>>>>> >>>>git log, then I see no reason to keep the files hanging around
>>>>>> >>>>bit-rotting.
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>>Again, ... the git-logs are a temporary internal implementation
>>>>> >>> detail,
>>>>> >>>the ChangeLog files are legal documents.
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>Can you elaborate this more clearly?
>>> >
>>> >Whatever data is stored in whatever VCS is being used at a certain point
>>> > in
>>> >time is completely irrelevant.
>>> >
>> The VCS stores timestamps, authorship info, and changes much better
>> than we ever could with manual ChangeLog entries.
> The change set and the meta data which compose a commit in Git are also
> protected by the SHA1.  So it is currently computational infeasible to
> change elements of the commit without changing the hash value.
> I would prefer that everyone expressing legal statements on this list quotes
> also the relevant laws, judicial comments, and verdicts.  Expressions like
> "legal document" are meaningless without such references.
> --
> Sebastian Huber, embedded brains GmbH
> Address : Dornierstr. 4, D-82178 Puchheim, Germany
> Phone   : +49 89 189 47 41-16
> Fax     : +49 89 189 47 41-09
> E-Mail  : sebastian.huber at
> PGP     : Public key available on request.
> Diese Nachricht ist keine geschäftliche Mitteilung im Sinne des EHUG.
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