[pacman-dev] Discussion on changelogs

Jerome Leclanche adys.wh at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 03:39:05 EST 2014

Hi list

The subject came up at FOSDEM on a packaging discussion. I thought
it'd be worth bringing up here.
Pacman has extremely basic and non-advertised support for changelogs.
These are maintainer changelogs, not upstream changelogs, and seem to
be completely useless. In fact, in my 900~ package install, only iotop
and zsh-syntax-highlighting have a changelog at all and they all list
"Updated to release ...".

My personal recommendation, and what makes the most sense, is to allow
for (and highly recommend) upstream changelogs. If there is a
changelog file, that can be displayed in pacman -Qc (regardless of its
There is also the subject of online-only changelogs. Should they be
downloaded, or should -Qc display "Read the changelog at http://..."?
My first thought is that's up to the packager/maintainer, they would
know better on a per-package basis.

Debian is really good with its packaging changelogs. Afaik they're the
only distro that properly uses them. They're a lot less relevant to
arch linux due to the very nature of the distro ("trust upstream") but
I don't think they're useless; in fact, we should probably distinguish
packaging and upstream changelogs.
Final question is, what of the syntax? I have a few things in mind but
I'd like to hear whether such changes would be welcome at all first.


J. Leclanche

More information about the pacman-dev mailing list