[Haskell-cafe] Diffs for hackage

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Sun Aug 14 01:04:50 CEST 2011

On 8/13/11 5:39 PM, Joachim Breitner wrote:
> Hi,
> Am Samstag, den 13.08.2011, 12:57 +0200 schrieb Joachim Breitner:
>> Maybe it would already help to add a "changelog-file" field to .cabal,
>> just as with license-file, and reject packages on hackage that do not
>> have this field and file, and later decide if we need a more
>> standardized format for changelogs.
> here is a first step in improving the Haskell ecosystem with that
> regard:
> The patch attached to http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/hackage/ticket/873
> makes "cabal check" remind the author that a changelog file is good
> practice (without fixing a name or format, or adding a field to
> the .cabal file). I hope it gets applied (hence CC’ing cabal-devel).
> Changing developers’ behavior by nudging tools is something that works
> great in Debian – if you want a change to get implemented across
> multiple packages, make sure lintian tells you about it. Hoping that
> people tend to run cabal check before uploading their package, they
> would now be reminded to include a changelog file.


> The next steps towards great changes documentation would then be:
>   * Defining a changelog-file field in cabal.
>   * Adding support to hackage to display the changelog.
>   * Possibly define a suggested format for changelogs.

At the risk of overengineering, perhaps the easiest way to deal with 
format bikeshedding is just to define an enumeration of formats just 
like the enumeration of licenses. That way machine-readable formats are 
annotated by which machine should read them, but crotchety developers 
don't have to change their changelogging preferences. After that's in 
place, then we can worry about the social pressure to get the community 
to agree on a smaller set of formats (just like has happened with licenses).

Live well,

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