Help for chronic beat writers

John J. McDonough wb8rcr at
Wed Mar 7 16:09:50 UTC 2012

If you write a beat regularly, or if you have chosen a beat with a lot
of packages, the checkBeat app might help.  I've been doing this for a
while, and recently made a simple change that might make it helpful for
others. (Previously you had to edit the C for each release).

First time you do this there are a bunch of steps, but then it gets

1) $ yum install sqlite-devel

2) Make a directory to work in.  If you're a regular beat writer, you
may want to keep this around.

3) go to;a=tree;f=tools/checkBeat
and download checkBeatMW.c and Makefile into your directory.  If your
beat has a bazillion packages, you might also want to look at  You could clone the docs/tools repo, but all you really
need from there are these two files.

4) $ make checkBeatMW

5) Create 2 subdirectories, new and old

6) go to;a=tree;f=build
and grab the primary.sqlite corresponding to the previous and next
release.  That location has a directory for each release, and a
subdirectory for alpha, beta, release.  Alternatively, the README has
instructions for getting the latest in case I haven't pushed it yet.
Place these in the new and old subdirectories.

7) Make a file containing the list of packages in your beat.  The script will make such a file, but it is based on the RPM
groups, which are wrong more often than not, and needs to be edited for
each release.  Figuring out how to edit it requires poking around in the
SQLite database.  yum groupinfo <groupname> could give you a reasonable
start if your beat maps to a group.

8) $ ./checkBeatMW my.beat >

9) will now contain a list of any packages in your beat which
have changed, with the previous and next versions and a link to the
upstream site.  The list is marked up for MediaWiki.  You can paste this
into your beat and use it as a placeholder for apps you need to
research.  The Development Tools beat has an example, which, of course,
will disappear as I research those packages.  Circuit Design, Embedded
and Amateur Radio also contain examples but I should complete those in
the next day or two.

On subsequent releases you just need to grab the new primary.sqlite and
run checkBeat again.

Keep in mind that in many cases the changes will be minor tweaks or
bugfixes which don't really need to be captured in the release notes.


More information about the docs mailing list