[impdev] GPL requirements and the ChangeLog

Adric R hakushakukun at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 09:11:34 PDT 2009

Is there any set format we need to follow when displaying the notice, i.e.
do we need to comment the specific sections, or just add "modifed by
so-and-so on such-and-such date" to the header?

I support the lazy option, for the record :) (although the idea of having
commits just for adding this info sounds kinda awkward, if I read your
workflow right. Is it possible to script a custom git command instead?)

-- MC

On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:46 AM, Jacek Antonelli
<jacek.antonelli at gmail.com>wrote:

> There are two related issues that we need to discuss and take some
> action on: the ChangeLog, and a specific requirement of the GPLv2,
> section 2 part a:
> > 2 a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
> > stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
> ( from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html )
> We have overlooked this requirement, and have not been adding notices
> to the files that we have modified. We have been keeping a ChangeLog,
> but the wording of that GPL clause suggests that we must add a notice
> in the modified files themselves. The ChangeLog would be good enough
> if it were GPLv3, but we are stuck with GPLv2 due to LL's choice of
> license terms.
> Obviously, adding all these notices would be a big hassle to do
> manually, and we're likely to forget to add them sometimes. McCabe and
> I are already tired of maintaining even just the ChangeLog, so having
> to also maintain notices in all the files we modify would be a real
> nuisance.
> In the past, McCabe and I have discussed the possibility of updating
> the ChangeLog automatically, from the Git log message (since we mostly
> just copy and paste it already). In theory, we could write a script
> that would also add a notice to any modified files, and use that
> script as a Git "hook" to update the files automatically.
> Ideally, the workflow would allow us to be as lazy as possible:
> 1) Modify code as usual
> 2) Run "git commit"
> 3) Provide log message
> 4) Git hook script updates ChangeLog.txt and all modified files
> 5) Git stores the final results
> 6) Everyone lives happily ever after
> I think this is feasible with a Python script or something. It would
> be a little bit tricky to write the script, but do-able.
> We would also need to run the script to add notices in the files for
> all past modifications.
> What are your guys' thoughts on this?
> - Jacek
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