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From Christopher <>
Subject Re: CHANGES files
Date Wed, 10 Jun 2015 19:14:39 GMT
I don't see the utility in having it at all. So, changing the
procedure to create it (which, honestly, seems more complicated than
today's tedious JIRA/copy/paste/prettify) doesn't seem helpful to me.
Before discussing procedure improvements, I'd like to justify the
utility of having it at all.

Besides, adding a procedure that is guaranteed to create a merge
conflict on every merge forward (even if there's not a conflict, it
will almost certainly be merged to the wrong place in the CHANGES
file) seems like a terrible idea.

Christopher L Tubbs II

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 2:54 PM, Mike Drob <> wrote:
> Why not ask committers add a line to the CHANGES file about the change when
> committing? Good place to highlight contributors too. Instead of an
> auto-generated one or sticking the RM with it, we build it up over the
> course of development.
> Individual subtasks could be ignored, larger tasks could be included by
> discretion of the author.
> Ex: "ACCUMULO-21224 Add more metrics to the monitor. (Jim Contributor via
> Mike Drob)"
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 1:43 PM, Keith Turner <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 2:32 PM, Christopher <> wrote:
>>> Okay Accumulators, I have a minor rant about the CHANGES files in
>>> Accumulo, and I want to get feedback on this file from the user@ and
>>> dev@ lists.
>>> The summary is:
>>> * I think this CHANGES file is nearly worthless, and a release manager
>>> shouldn't have to bother with it. We should just delete it.
>> +1
>> We could drop the file from releases and have a link to a jira query in
>> the release notes on the web site.
>>> The justification is:
>>> * The CHANGES file is tedious to prepare (requires manual copy/paste
>>> from JIRA, after clicking the right buttons in the right order).
>>> * We now have release notes which compliment the full JIRA search and
>>> git history, to highlight particular changes, which is far more
>>> useful.
>>> * The file is just so big and contains material of questionable
>>> utility (do we really need to enumerate all sub-tasks for each issue,
>>> especially when they aren't even grouped with the parent issue?)
>>> * It's very easy for the CHANGES file to be wrong, by either including
>>> a JIRA issue which was incorrectly marked, or by omitting an issue
>>> which was inadvertently left open. The release manager can triage
>>> these things, but that's a lot of extra work, and it doesn't seem to
>>> matter whether it is actually wrong or not (it has been wrong in the
>>> past, and nobody has ever voiced a complaint or indicated any concern
>>> at all).
>>> * The CHANGES file is ugly. It follows no markup standard to render it
>>> in a presentable way (Markdown, APT, asciidoc, etc.). Any
>>> prettification must be done manually.
>>> * Issue numbers and subject lines rarely convey adequate information
>>> to satisfy curious readers wishing to inform themselves of what
>>> changed. Looking at the actual JIRA issues is necessary to do that,
>>> and these links are not clickable.
>>> * Because it is generated from the fixVersion in JIRA, it's often the
>>> case that we must omit useful fixVersions from JIRA in order to avoid
>>> confusing inclusions in the CHANGES file (like the JIRA pertaining to
>>> the release itself). And sometimes people add/remove the wrong
>>> fixVersion. We can fix this later when we discover it, but it's
>>> usually too late for the CHANGES file already bundled in a release.
>>> * Updating the CHANGES file creates unnecessary commits which are
>>> tedious and painful to merge forward (and usually risky, because it
>>> would involve -sours type merges) and pollute the git history without
>>> much use.
>>> * The convention for a CHANGES file seems to be born of an era prior
>>> to ubiquitous version control, and I don't think having one is
>>> required in any way.
>>> Sure, we could automate generating this file (maybe?), which would
>>> alleviate some of the burden. However, many of these problems would
>>> still exist, and in the end, I'm not really sure what the benefits
>>> are. It doesn't seem to be that useful, and especially not compared to
>>> the amount of work it takes to maintain it. Instead of deleting it, we
>>> could leave it in place with a generic comment referring the user to
>>> JIRA and git. But, even that seems to be unnecessary (these resources
>>> are already prominently linked on the Accumulo site and in the project
>>> pom.xml in the official source release, and it is already well
>>> understood that a project is going to have an SCM history and an issue
>>> tracker).
>>> But, what do you think? Is this file really useful to anybody? Does
>>> its utility outweigh the burden it places on release managers, which
>>> can slow down and complicate the release process?
>>> --
>>> Christopher L Tubbs II

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