Unhelpful update descriptions

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at redhat.com
Mon Mar 11 23:12:21 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:43:28PM -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> "Jared K. Smith" <jsmith at fedoraproject.org> writes:
> > On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM, Michael Catanzaro
> > <mike.catanzaro at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Perhaps the update policy should have a guideline on the minimum amount
> >> of information required in this description. E.g. "update to latest
> >> upstream version" might be a perfectly acceptable description for Fedora
> >> given the fast pace of updates, but I don't think users should ever be
> >> seeing "no update information available" and especially not "here is
> >> where you give an explanation of your update." (And I've seen this one
> >> multiple times within the past couple of weeks.)
> > I tend to agree here.  That being said, most of my package updates are
> > something along the lines of "Update to upstream 2.5 release" -- would
> > you find that descriptive enough, or still lacking in detail?
> FWIW, I tend to say "update to upstream release XYZ" and give a URL for
> the upstream release notes for that version.  This approach requires an
> upstream that's well enough organized to have such a webpage for every
> version, of course; but for my packages this seems to work fine.  The
> upstream notes tend to have way more info than I could cram into an
> update description, anyway.

It'd also be great if we didn't have to duplicate changelogs
everywhere.  In libguestfs, the canonical source for a change is the
git log.  If I'm unlucky I may end up duplicating this three or more

 - in the RPM %changelog

 - in the Fedora git commit (fedpkg commit -c helps here, thanks!)

 - in the Bodhi update

 - all of the above in the backport to the stable branch

Even if you argue that user changelogs should be different from
developer changelogs -- and I would agree -- there's still far too
much duplication needed.

In short my point is: don't moan about bad update messages when the
problem is our software sucks.


Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
libguestfs lets you edit virtual machines.  Supports shell scripting,
bindings from many languages.  http://libguestfs.org

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