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Commit messages for [[Mercurial]] get automatically distilled into GNU Changelog entries. The GNU coding standards have [http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Style-of-Change-Logs.html some guidelines] for how to write Changelogs, and since Octave is a GNU project, we try to produce Changelogs in this style.
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Our commit messages for Mercurial get automatically distilled into GNU Changelog entries. The GNU coding standards have [http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Style-of-Change-Logs.html some guidelines] for how to write Changelogs, and since Octave is a GNU project, we try to produce Changelogs in this style. However, certain things have to be adapted because the style in there is primarily for C sources, and because we are producing them from Mercurial commit messages.
  
You can see how Mercurial will produce the Changelog-style output with the following command:
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You can see how [[Mercurial]] will produce the Changelog-style output with the following command:
  
   hg log --template changelog
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   hg log --style changelog
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*Note that this command will print all changelogs to the screen, currently including all changelogs back to 2008 and approaching 200,0000 lines of text. You may use the followig command for a paged output:
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 +
  hg log --style changelog | less
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*Alternatively, you may save the changlogs to a text file. This will permit viewing and searching in a text editor for use in preparing your own commit messages:
 +
 
 +
  hg log --style changelog >> octave_changelogs.log
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 +
 
 +
== Guidelines ==
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 +
General structure of a commit message:
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:: '''One-line description'''
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:: ''Empty line''
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:: '''Body of the commit message'''
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=== One-line description ===
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 +
The commit message should start with a brief one-line description of what the
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commit does. Keep it short, no longer than 80 characters. If you are working
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on a bug or applying a patch, this one-line explanation should mention the bug
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or patch number at the end like so: {{codeline|... (bug #12345)}}. Do not end
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the first line with a period (full stop).
 +
 
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If your change only touches one file, then the name of that file can be the
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prefix of the one-line description. If it's a C++ or C file, the function or
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class that is being modified should be included in the parenthetical remark,
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as in the full body of the commit message.
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In addition, there are a few prefixes for certain types of commits:
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* maint: for reorganisation of the sources that do not change the source. Regular merge commits are a prominent example.
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* doc: for changes to the documentation.
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* build: for changes to the build system, for example autoconf or automake files.
 +
 
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If your change is small and only touches one file, then the one-line
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description may serve as the entire commit message.
 +
 
 +
=== Body of the commit message ===
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If there is more than one file touched in different ways and the one-line
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description isn't enough to describe all changes, the commit message needs a
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full-body description.
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Each individual file changed by a commmit must have its changes enumerated.
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For changes affecting specific C++ functions, each function name is listed in
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parentheses. For example
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 +
<pre>
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* file.cc (class1::function1): Add something.
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(function2, function3): Delete something else.
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</pre>
 +
 
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For changes affecting specific Octave built-ins, each built-in name is listed
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in parentheses with an "F" prefix, an implementation detail. For example
 +
 
 +
<pre>
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* data.cc (Fcolumns): Return columns.
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</pre>
 +
 
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When the same change is applied to a series of files, or to a set of functions
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in a single file, the file or function names may be grouped to shorten the
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commit message. For example:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
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* file1.cc, file2.cc, file3.cc, file4.cc: Include <sys/types.h>.
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* memory.cc (function1, function2, function3): Throw error if empty.
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</pre>
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Each line of the commit message body should also be kept under 80 columns. The
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GNU standards recommend starting a new line for each parenthesized function,
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but if the line is short enough, we often avoid an extra newline. For example
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 +
<pre>
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* file.cc (function1): Add an option.  (function2): Add another option.
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</pre>
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Only the last file name component is typically needed, since most files have
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unique names across the entire repository. One notable exception are the
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{{codeline|module.mk}} files in every directory, they should include the
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complete directory and file name. For example
 +
 
 +
<pre>
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* doc/interpreter/module.mk (dist_man_MANS): Include foo.1 in the list.
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</pre>
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For m-file and Fortran sources, the function name can be omitted if the file
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contains only one function. For changes outside of functions or classes, of
 +
course the parenthetical (function) or (class::function) specifiers can also
 +
be omitted.
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=== Wording ===
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Please write "New function" instead of "Added function" or "Return retval"
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instead of "Changed to return retval".
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Never write "Fixed bug" or similar. That doesn't add any specific
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information about what was changed.
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The commit message should describe what was changed, not why it was changed.
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Any explanation for why a change is needed should appear as comments in the
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code, particularly if there is something that might not be obvious to someone
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reading it later.
  
For more options, see [https://www.mercurial-scm.org/repo/hg/help/log the Mercurial manual].
 
  
 
== Examples ==
 
== Examples ==
Line 52: Line 156:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
=== One line examples ===
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=== One line commit examples ===
 
 
This examples are the rare cases where only one file is modified and the change is simple enough:
 
 
 
maint: merge stable to default.
 
 
maint: merge away accidental head.
 
 
maint: Strip trailing whitespace from source files.
 
 
maint: Update gnulib to latest changes.
 
 
doc: grammarcheck documentation for 4.2 release.
 
 
pkg.m4: update to lastest version as released with pkg-config 0.29 (bug #48775)
 
 
uigetfile.m: allow path names as input arg (bug #48828)
 
 
 
== Guidelines ==
 
 
 
The general structure of a commit message should be clear from the examples:
 
 
 
* After the first line, leave one blank line.
 
* Do not end the first line with a period (full stop).
 
* Keep it short, no longer than 80 characters.
 
* Add the bug number, e.g. <code>(bug #12345)</code>, where applicable.
 
* Use prefixes where applicable:
 
** <code>build:</code> for changes to the build system, for example autoconf or automake files.
 
** <code>doc:</code> for changes to the documentation.
 
** <code>gui:</code> for changes to the graphical user interface.
 
** <code>maint:</code> for reorganization of the sources that do not change the source. Regular merge commits are a prominent example.
 
** <code>test:</code> for changes to [[Tests]] only, e.g. new/removed BISTs, changed tolerances, etc.
 
 
 
 
 
=== Wording ===
 
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
! bad
 
! good
 
|-
 
| style="color:darkred;" | "Added function"
 
| style="color:green;" | "New function"
 
|-
 
| style="color:darkred;" | "Changed to return retval"
 
| style="color:green;" | "Return retval"
 
|-
 
| style="color:darkred;" | "Fixed bug"
 
| style="color:green;" | Write '''what''' has changed.
 
|}
 
 
 
The commit message should describe '''what''' was changed, not '''why''' it was changed. Any explanations should appear as comments in the code, particularly if there is something that might not be obvious to someone reading it later.
 
 
 
=== Body of the commit message ===
 
 
 
Each individual file changed by a commit must have its changes enumerated. For changes affecting specific C++ functions, each function name is listed in parentheses. For example
 
 
 
* file.cc (class1::function1): Add something.
 
(function2, function3): Delete something else.
 
 
 
For changes affecting specific Octave built-ins, each built-in name is listed in parentheses with an "F" prefix, an implementation detail. For example
 
 
 
* data.cc (Fcolumns): Return columns.
 
 
 
When the same change is applied to a series of files, or to a set of functions in a single file, the file or function names may be grouped to shorten the commit message. For example:
 
 
 
* file1.cc, file2.cc, file3.cc, file4.cc: Include <sys/types.h>.
 
* memory.cc (function1, function2, function3): Throw error if empty.
 
 
 
Each line of the commit message body should also be kept under 80 columns. The GNU standards recommend starting a new line for each parenthesized function, but if the line is short enough, we often avoid an extra newline. For example
 
 
 
* file.cc (function1): Add an option.  (function2): Add another option.
 
 
 
Only the last file name component is typically needed, since most files have unique names across the entire repository. One notable exception are the {{codeline|module.mk}} files in every directory, they should include the complete directory and file name. For example
 
 
 
* doc/interpreter/module.mk (dist_man_MANS): Include foo.1 in the list.
 
  
Avoid abbreviating or using shell globs or patterns when listing the names of files affected by a change, even when they have the same name with different file extensions. For example
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This examples are the rare cases where only one file is modified and the
 +
change is simple enough:
  
* oct-fftw.cc, oct-fftw.h (octave_fftw_version): New function.
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<pre>maint: merge away accidental head.</pre>
 +
<pre>maint: Strip trailing whitespace from source files.</pre>
 +
<pre>maint: Update gnulib to latest changes.</pre>
 +
<pre>maint: Periodic merge of stable to default.</pre>
 +
<pre>doc: grammarcheck documentation for 4.2 release.</pre>
 +
<pre>pkg.m4: update to lastest version as released with pkg-config 0.29 (bug #48775)</pre>
 +
<pre>uigetfile.m: allow path names as input arg (bug #48828)</pre>
  
For m-file and Fortran sources, the function name can be omitted if the file contains only one function. For changes outside of functions or classes, of course the parenthetical (function) or (class::function) specifiers can also be omitted.
 
  
 
[[Category:Development]]
 
[[Category:Development]]

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