More unhelpful update descriptions

Adam Williamson awilliam at
Sat Jun 29 20:07:29 UTC 2013

On 2013-06-29 7:08, Till Maas wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 07:44:22PM -0500, Michael Catanzaro wrote:
>> We need written policy on update descriptions, since despite the last
>> discussion on this list [1], poor update descriptions continue to
>> blemish the otherwise-professional image of the distro. A starting 
>> point
>> suggestion: "Every update should have at least a one sentence
>> description." If the update is not worth writing one sentence about, 
>> it
>> is not worth pushing out.
> If the update fixes a bug which is properly mentioned in the bugs 
> field,
> why does this fact need to be mentioned again in the update notes? It
> should be obvious that an update fixing a bug is worth pushing out.
> Also instead of writing policy, better make Bodhi allow to easier write
> good update notes, e.g. by using/including the upstream, RPM or GIT
> changelog, so it can be easily used if it already contains the 
> necessary
> information.

The upstream, RPM or git changelog is never a good update description.

An update description should be a very clear high-level description of 
what the update does. The audience is a normal end-user who has 300 
updates to apply and wants to know what they do. This person is not 
going to spend six hours reading changelogs.

"This update simply fixes the bugs listed" is an okay description - it 
tells the reader what they need to know and re-assures them that the 
update doesn't do anything *else*. Of course, if it does, you need to 
explain that: "This update includes a new upstream release which fixes 
the bugs listed. You can find other changes in the upstream description 

I can't personally conceive of a case in which it would make sense to 
simply have some kind of changelog as the update description. That is 
not what the description is for.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | adamwfedora

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