Olivier Lacan

Software bricoleur, word wrangler, scientific skeptic, and logic lumberjack.

Logging Changes All Over The World

Written on August 07, 2016 in Orlando, Florida

After months of slow but steady work, keepachangelog.com is now officially versioned and translated in nine languages!

Prior to this, we have of course been using an internal changelog to document minor version evolutions but so far this wasn't properly reflected on the website.

I've been impressed with how popular this rant-turned-project1 has been. It looks like many more people than I've ever expected are finding it useful in communities much broader than open source software.

Illustration of Keep a CHANGELOG popularity with a graph of traffic over the past three years

Now that the latest version (0.3.0) is public, it will be much easier to coordinate the translations that have been streaming in steadily over the past year.

If you know anyone who could help translate the project in a new language, please point them to the Translations section in the project README for details on how to contribute.

I'm grateful to all the contributors to this project2 but in particular to the following folks for submitting pull requests with translations:

Why Keep a CHANGELOG?

The mission of Keep a CHANGELOG is to help software developers understand the value of purposeful version documentation.

Anyone can try to read a commit log between the software version they're using and a new one they would like to update to. Few people can understand the meaning of each individual commit, assuming project contributors know how to write good commit messages. Even fewer people can understand what commit is going to break their software because you didn't bother to properly document the changes in yours.

Open source software is certainly valuable, but without proper documentation you might as well keep it closed. Show that you care about the people you share your software with, keep a changelog.


  1. Not my first rage diamond

  2. Including Jacob Swanner (from Envy and the wonderful RailsDiff) who was my rubber duck while going through the final changes last Friday so I could finally release this. Speaking of Envy, I drew tons of inspiration and advice from Nate Bibler's beautiful changelogs throughout the past five years, and he's provided great advice and feedback, so he gets an awkwardly long hug as well.