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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I'd like an RSS feed (or whatnot) that keeps me up to date on changes to modules on my watchlist (likely, modules I have installed or I have as a prerequisite to my releases), so a machine parser for Changes files is something I'm interested in. I'm definitively in the "free format text file" camp. I'm not really against POD, but I'm against human-unreadable formats like RDF, because IMO the Changes file is still mostly for humans to consume and mostly written by humans too. At least my releases "should" be conveniently parseable with some heuristics:

    0.46 20071003
      + Bump version because of borked CPAN upload, retrying
      * No need to upgrade

    Maybe simply leading by example and/or having modules that guess the changes made without needing more fluff as YAML does would push for a change. For example, I could see the the phrase /no need to upgrade/i as a potential way of marking whether the diff from last release to this release is important. Maybe /api change/ would indicate a need for human intervention while everything else lingers in limbo...

    Having a premade test that checks whether the Changes file is "recent", contains the date/timestamp of the distribution release and something machine parseable could help the module authors to keep their Changes file in machine-parseable format.

    Having the authors manually/separately tag their releases will likely not work better than having a well-formatted Changes file. Having others tag releases could help and be web-2.0ish. Storing the information in META.yaml or whatnot would be another approach, but that relies on humans doing the work, and then they could have their Changes file in the "right" format.