resistance is obsolete ™ ;-)

OGo ChangeBlogger

How do you keep track of the current events in your favourite OSS project? Do you read commit messages? Even better: ChangeLogs? Did you ever wish ChangeLogs were to be aggregated into one big file? Or an easy to browse archive?
Well, yeah, that's what ChangeBLogger is all about. ;-)

What does it look like? Well, just visit the ChangeBLog ...


Everything works as expected. Codewise the is far from perfect, especially the date parsing sucks big time. The date parsing is far too badly coded, but I didn't expect it to get so complicated. It's probably a better idea to write an own parser than to reuse the built-in modules. However, it works for OGo so there's no direct need to do it at the moment. Anybody wanting to clean this mess up, here's an opportunity to become famous instantly! Well, sort of. ;-)


Speed is a minor issue, but our system resources aren't exhausted at the moment so it's nothing we really need to worry about.


Because this thing is rather a hacque™ than a sophisticated program, in order to use it for your projects you need to adjust the and the programs as well.
Basically, describes some locations (filesystem paths and URLs) where to put things and where to find them. Also, it contains the paths to the ChangeLogs you want to aggregate into an archive (or into an RDF feed or whatever you like).
Then, there's a couple of scripts:

    Python library for parsing the ChangeLogs. Also, it provides a couple of functions which are shared by some of the scripts.
    This script scans all ChangeLog entries from and creates Python code on stdout ( This index is currently used by the and scripts.
    Generates a shell script on stdout that will create the whole archive.
    Generates an HTML page in the archive for the specified year and month (command line parameters).
    Generates an RDF feed of the 15 most recent entries on stdout.
Also, for use with OGo, there's an ogocl.css style sheet which is used by the HTML created by This style sheet is basically a rip-off from COREBlog's CSS. Atsushi Shibata <> was kind enough to grant us permission to use it for OGo. Either you ask him if you could use it in your project as well or you design your own - it's up to you of course.

How to use ...

All stuff has to be put in one directory. Now, open in your texteditor of choice (vi I bet) and adjust the settings. If you're done, the following should work:

  • ./ >
  • ./ >
  • chmod 755
  • ./

I don't have any specific recommendations how you should integrate this whole mechanism in your project. Because the archive generation works on a checked out copy of your project, you can create archives for developer snapshots, releases, tagged versions etc.. All you need to do is to provide a and for each purpose. Python is flexibel when it comes to search pathes, so you can write small additional scripts to adjust these paths.
Because old archive pages contain links to newer archive pages, with every new month the whole archive has to be rebuilt. Please note that there already has to be a ChangeLog entry in this new month, otherwise will have no entry for the month; a cronjob simply won't do.
If you don't like the generated HTML you'll have to dig in It's fun, so I'll recommend it! ;-)


While the overall result is even better than I anticipated, the code is a bit quirky. First of all, well, the naming of the scripts is pretty bad. I more or less felt that I was writing a proof of concept, not a really useful bunch of scripts. Helge added requests in a row while I was just writing the parser and the accompanied print utility, so there was no real design phase. Also, there are no custom classes, it's all a bunch of arrays and dictionaries - rather messy. If someone feels like rewriting this I'd understand it. However, it just works, and I don't need it any better designed at the moment.

The most important thing: Who had the idea?

hh: hatte ich eigentlich die Idee zum ChangeBlogger?
oder warst du das?

znek: weiss nicht mehr
ich glaube, ich wollte das für commit messages machen
und du meintest dann changelogs
aber die idee mit dem blog war von mir

hh: ok
ehre wem ehre gebuerht

znek: der code ist übrigens auch von mir

hh: gebrueht meine ich
ach der code ist doch egal

znek: von dir ist mal wieder nur ganz wenig

hh: na klar, ich habe den "fertile ground" geschaffen

znek: ausser rummeckern und rumkommandieren

hh: ohne *MEIN* Staropramen haettest du das nie hinbekommen

znek: ;(

In summary: probably Helge had the brilliant idea to use a BLog format for ChangeLogs, but neither ZNeK nor Helge do remember being under the evil influence of Staropramen.

Written by Marcus Müller & Helge Heß

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