Thoughts about improving the changelog

I want to continue the discussion I have started on github here: https://github.com/gitlabhq/gitlabhq/commit/7758a566c9d12dbb7728ad6273cafe140a9e8eb8#commitcomment-11300455

The changelog needs to be improved, I have already posted my thoughts on github. They are:

What about adjusting the contribution guidelines a bit such that:

  • a changelog entry must be included in every merge commit message
  • the commit description must include a proper description (rather than one “fixes a bug with XYZ” line)…

That ensures that

  • the changelog could be autogenerated directly from git. just pick the merge commits for a “release highlight” summary
  • a detailed changelog can be generated easily when there are proper commit messages
  • nobody has to maintain the “conflicts mess” in the changelog file any more
  • the generated changelog can be placed somewhere on the homepage

Personally I document everything in my commit messages, rather than on the bugtracker. This ensures that I can generate various metadata (changelog, authors, bug descriptions, …) for free.