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Journal of LTjake (4001)

Wednesday September 05, 2007
07:35 PM

Changes.yml spec?

[ #34358 ]

I was browsing through the solr-ruby project svn directory when i can across this file (sample below):

- v0.0.5
release_date: 2007-08-??
- Added support for highlighter fragment size to Solr::Request::Standard
- Added support for MoreLikeThese to Solr::Request::Standard
- Added Solr::Request::ModifyDocument (requires SOLR-139 patch)
- Added Solr::Util.query_parser_escape()

- v0.0.4
release_date: 2007-08-16
- Solr::Indexer#solr added to gain access to the Solr::Connection instance
- Fixed issue with multi-line String field values when field set multiValued="false"
- Fixed tests to work without either Hpricot or libxml2

This makes total sense -- Machine parsable high-level changelogs. I'd love to see a spec created for this. A quick poll of #perl-qa shows that some other folks agree. I searched around but couldn't find any existing specs -- any takers? :)

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  • It looks like the developers on the project don't use that as machine-parseable file, because it contains errors that prevents the content to be parsed as YAML. Namely, all lines starting as

    - v0.0.4:

    should be ended with ':'. But I think this idea only flies for real simple Changelogs. In CPAN, you find a great diversity of different markup people use for distinct things: bug fixes, new feature implementation, doc patches, etc., etc. That's not easy to be captured in a simple format. And if it is not simp

    • It would be nice to have A optional standard to use though, even if it isn't enforced or even expected.

      I've been meaning to write a Changes file parser/modifier for a while, so I can do automated incremental module releases for some modules.

      This would make it damned easy.
  • Please don't make it YAML, it's a failed format.
    • What are the alternatives?
      • XML. Which raises cries and lamentations of its own, of course. See my longer reply, below.


    • I like YAML but I do wish that it was more widely available. I'm afraid that making it so flexible has made it too difficult to write compliant parsers. One of the things I like about the basic YAML syntax is its simplicity; is it really useful that you can write YAML that looks like Javascript []?
    • Why is it a failed format? Could you provide a reference for that statment?
  • This is a very good idea, but mostly because a standardised changelog format gives us options like automatic pre-release checks of the file ("Have I updated the Changes.yml file before uploading the package to CPAN?") or making new Kwalitee tests for CPAN-friendly packages. :)

    Oh, and the syntax can be "fixed" by adding a ":" after the version number (see v0.0.1 in the example).

    - v0.0.1:
      release_date: 2007-02-15
        - initial release

    • Hmf. Should have properly read the other comments [] first. :-P

      Anyhow, I think that format doesn't look too bad, and I definitely think it may be worth promoting. :)

    • Oh, and the syntax can be "fixed" by adding a ":" after the version number (see v0.0.1 in the example).

      No, fix it right:

      - version: v0.0.1
        release_date: 2007-02-15
          - initial release

      And Viola! We have v0.01 of our spec! :-)
      I like YAML for its readability due to its lack of sigils (unlike JSON). And for simple YAML there is YAML::Tiny which can handle those basic structures, namely a list of hashes., just fine...

  • I've been using a home-brewed XML format for some of my changelogs. I also (of course) keep a more traditional-format CL in the distro. I've been working on some XSLT stylesheets and an article about it for, but lack of tuits has slowed me. This may be the nudge I need to finish it.

    Of course, mentioning XML alone may raise cries from those who are tired of seeing it applied to every vaguely-text-data-related problem that comes along. And I understand (and sometimes share) the sentiment. But in this



    • If you don't need a Schema, you don't need XML...
    • miyagawa has drawn [] my attention to Net::Flickr::Backup, whose author uses the estimable DOAP [] RDF vocabulary in his Changes files []. Aaron appears to have extended it in his own fashion, which with a little work could be a very promising format for this sort of thing.

      I'd be very interested to see that overview/article, and perhaps contribute to the effort.

  • I have done a short write-up of a draft for Changes.yml in a personal journal entry at [].

    It's just a quick draft of things that could be handy from my point-of-view as a module maintainer, please add your ideas and positive critiques...