I’ve been adding to scriv, my changelog management tool. The latest release is 1.2.0, with improvements to creating GitHub releases.
As I mentioned on last month’s podcast, I think it’s important to have one source of truth for information, and then build tooling to publish it wherever you want it to be read.
I think GitHub Releases are a fine way to publicize new versions of software and summarize the changes. But I don’t like them as the one place to store that information. The CHANGELOG file is an ideal source of truth: it’s a text file in your repo, so it’s version-controlled, can be modified in pull requests, can work with other tools, is portable beyond GitHub, and so on. The change information should be authored in the CHANGELOG.
Once the CHANGELOG has the information, a GitHub Release is a fine place to publish it.
To help support this approach, scriv has a “github-release” command which parses your CHANGELOG file and creates a corresponding GitHub Release. Scriv also has commands for building the CHANGELOG file, but this github-release command will work even if your CHANGELOG wasn’t created by scriv.
In fact, once scriv 1.2 was ready, I was able to remove some custom tooling from the coverage.py repo that did the same job, a clear sign that things are moving in the right direction. The coverage.py CHANGES.rst file is hand-edited, but is published to GitHub releases by scriv.
Scriv started small, and has been slowing gaining features and users. I’d be interested to know what you think of it.