TIP 663: Cease distribution of the ChangeLog files

Author:         Don Porter <[email protected]>
State:          Final
Type:           Project
Vote:           Done
Created:        26-Apr-2023
Tcl-Version:    8.7
Tcl-Branch:	tip-663
Vote-Summary	Accepted 9/0/0
Votes-For:	DP, BG, KW, AK, FV, JN, JD, MC, SL
Votes-Against:	none
Votes-Present:	none


This TIP proposes we stop distributing the ChangeLog files in the Tcl and Tk releases.


The source code history of Tcl and Tk goes back to 1998, roughly corresponding to the 8.0p2 releases. Both projects were in development many years before that, but our fossil repositories do not record that work.

In all our releases of Tcl and Tk since then, we have included files in the distribution root directory with names matching ChangeLog*. These files recorded the commit logs from source code management that went into the source code in the release. There are multiple files with suffixes like ChangeLog.2004, because some editors on some systems at the time could not act on large text files with adequate performance. When Tcl was developed with SCM systems based on a central server with limited access, this was a reasonable way to export development history information to the users of Tcl and Tk.

Source code management for Tcl and Tk moved to fossil in 2011. The commit log messages became available publicly to anyone. After two years, the non-value of continuing to grow the ChangeLog* files became clear. They have been unmaintained since 2013. Everything in them is now a historic record of events a decade or more in the past, and available to be searched and discovered online.


The value of the contents of the Changelog* files no longer reasonably outweighs the cost of cluttering the root directory.


End the distribution of the ChangeLog* files in all Tcl and Tk source code releases 8.7 and later.


No issues expected.


See the branch tip-663 .


This document has been placed in the public domain.