autonewsmd

The purpose of the autonewsmd R package is to bring the power of conventional commit messages to the R community. There is no need anymore to tediously maintain a changelog file manually. If you are using conventional commit messages, autonewsmd will do that for you and automatically generate a human readable changelog file directly from the repository’s git history.

Conventional commit messages (https://www.conventionalcommits.org/en/v1.0.0/) come with some easy rules to create human readable commit messages for a git history. One advantage is that following these conventions, these messages are also machine readable and automated tools can run on top of them in order to, e.g., generate beautiful changelogs out of them. Similar tools for other languages are, for example, auto-changelog for JavaScript and auto-changelog for Python.

Supported Commit Types

The default changelog template organizes commits according to their association with specific tags. The tags form the headings of the changelog file and are sorted in decreasing order according to their release dates. The following table lists the commit types that are currently supported by autonewsmd. To be correctly recognized by autonewsmd, it is important that the formatting of the commit messages follow the conventions described here.

feat: New features
fix: Bug fixes
refactor: Refactorings
perf: Performance
build: Build
test: Tests
ci: CI
docs: Docs
style: Style
chore: Other changes

If any commit type includes BREAKING CHANGE in its commit message’s body or footer, the subheading Breaking changes is included as first subheading within the respective sections.

Please also refer to the README for further information.

Example

First of all, for demonstration purposes, a small git repository will be created with some commit messages.

library(autonewsmd)

# (Example is based on the public examples from the git2r R package)
## Initialize a repository
path <- file.path(tempdir(), "autonewsmd")
dir.create(path)
repo <- git2r::init(path)

## Config user
git2r::config(repo, user.name = "Alice", user.email = "alice@example.org")
git2r::remote_set_url(repo, "foobar", "https://example.org/git2r/foobar")

## Write to a file and commit
lines <- "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do"
writeLines(lines, file.path(path, "example.txt"))

git2r::commit(repo, "feat: new file example.txt")

## Write again to a file and commit
Sys.sleep(2) # wait two seconds, otherwise, commit messages have same time stamp
lines2 <- paste0(
"eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. ",
"Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris ",
"nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat."
)
write(lines2, file.path(path, "example.txt"), append = TRUE)

## Also add a tag here
git2r::tag(repo, "v0.0.1")

Then, instantiate an autonewsmd object. Here, you must provide the repo_name (this argument is used to compose the title of the changelog file). The repo_path-argument can be provided optionally and defaults to the current working directory ("."). The repo_path should be the root of a git repository. The $generate()-method creates a list with all commit messages that is used for rendering the changelog file. an <- autonewsmd$new(repo_name = "TestRepo", repo_path = path)
an$generate() # View the list an$repo_list
#> $v0.0.1 #>$v0.0.1$commits #> sha summary message author #> 1: c75e13af49dd99ab70f621717c4bf585001b82d0 refactor: added second phrase refactor: added second phrase Alice #> 2: f66d96d2362df21a0685b3636b43438f51814455 feat: new file example.txt feat: new file example.txt Alice #> email when sha_seven type clean_summary tag tag_before #> 1: alice@example.org 2022-09-02 06:31:20 c75e13a Refactorings added second phrase v0.0.1 v0.0.1 #> 2: alice@example.org 2022-09-02 06:31:18 f66d96d New features new file example.txt v0.0.1 <NA> #> #>$v0.0.1$latest_date #> [1] "2022-09-02" #> #>$v0.0.1$sha_from #> [1] "f66d96d2362df21a0685b3636b43438f51814455" #> #>$v0.0.1$sha_to #> [1] "c75e13af49dd99ab70f621717c4bf585001b82d0" #> #>$v0.0.1$tag_from #> [1] "f66d96d" #> #>$v0.0.1$tag_to #> [1] "v0.0.1" #> #>$v0.0.1$full_changes #> [1] "Full set of changes: [f66d96d...v0.0.1](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/compare/f66d96d...v0.0.1)" Executing the $write()-method, the changelog is written to the path specified with the repo_path-argument. If force = FALSE (the default), a dialog is prompted to ask the user if the file should be (over-) written.

an$write(force = TRUE) #> processing file: autonewsmd-5272f03178-news-md-template.Rmd #> output file: autonewsmd-5272f03178-news-md-template.knit.md #> /usr/lib/rstudio-server/bin/quarto/bin/tools/pandoc +RTS -K512m -RTS autonewsmd-5272f03178-news-md-template.knit.md --to markdown_strict-yaml_metadata_block --from markdown+autolink_bare_uris+tex_math_single_backslash --output /tmp/RtmpY9K0uU/autonewsmd/NEWS.md #> #> Output created: /tmp/RtmpY9K0uU/autonewsmd/NEWS.md Now, we can verify that the file NEWS.md also appears in the git folder and check its content. list.files(path) #> [1] "example.txt" "NEWS.md" newsmd <- readLines(file.path(path, "NEWS.md")) newsmd #> [1] "# TestRepo NEWS" #> [2] "" #> [3] "## v0.0.1 (2022-09-02)" #> [4] "" #> [5] "#### New features" #> [6] "" #> [7] "- new file example.txt" #> [8] " ([f66d96d](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/tree/f66d96d2362df21a0685b3636b43438f51814455))" #> [9] "" #> [10] "#### Refactorings" #> [11] "" #> [12] "- added second phrase" #> [13] " ([c75e13a](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/tree/c75e13af49dd99ab70f621717c4bf585001b82d0))" #> [14] "" #> [15] "Full set of changes:" #> [16] "[f66d96d...v0.0.1](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/compare/f66d96d...v0.0.1)" To see, how the changelog file builds up, the new file can also be added and committed. Sys.sleep(2) git2r::add(repo, "NEWS.md") git2r::commit(repo, "chore: added news.md file") #> [07b6c39] 2022-09-02: chore: added news.md file an$generate()
an$write(force = TRUE) #> processing file: autonewsmd-52215e4b2b-news-md-template.Rmd #> output file: autonewsmd-52215e4b2b-news-md-template.knit.md #> /usr/lib/rstudio-server/bin/quarto/bin/tools/pandoc +RTS -K512m -RTS autonewsmd-52215e4b2b-news-md-template.knit.md --to markdown_strict-yaml_metadata_block --from markdown+autolink_bare_uris+tex_math_single_backslash --output /tmp/RtmpY9K0uU/autonewsmd/NEWS.md #> #> Output created: /tmp/RtmpY9K0uU/autonewsmd/NEWS.md newsmd <- readLines(file.path(path, "NEWS.md")) newsmd #> [1] "# TestRepo NEWS" #> [2] "" #> [3] "## Unreleased (2022-09-02)" #> [4] "" #> [5] "#### Other changes" #> [6] "" #> [7] "- added news.md file" #> [8] " ([07b6c39](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/tree/07b6c390bf728cf6e19a991dabe7cb8f1cad1ad6))" #> [9] "" #> [10] "## v0.0.1 (2022-09-02)" #> [11] "" #> [12] "#### New features" #> [13] "" #> [14] "- new file example.txt" #> [15] " ([f66d96d](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/tree/f66d96d2362df21a0685b3636b43438f51814455))" #> [16] "" #> [17] "#### Refactorings" #> [18] "" #> [19] "- added second phrase" #> [20] " ([c75e13a](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/tree/c75e13af49dd99ab70f621717c4bf585001b82d0))" #> [21] "" #> [22] "Full set of changes:" #> [23] "[f66d96d...v0.0.1](https://example.org/git2r/foobar/compare/f66d96d...v0.0.1)" Further configurations Besides repo_name and repo_path, there are some other (optional) configurations available. The file name can be modified with the field $file_name. Typically, the file name is NEWS or CHANGELOG.

an$file_name #> [1] "NEWS" Furthermore, the ending of the changelog file can be set with $file_ending. This defaults to .md, but could, for example, also be .txt or even an empty string.

an$file_ending #> [1] ".md" A very important configuration is the tag_pattern. This regular expression is used to identify release tags, which are used to create the subsections of the changelog file. This field defaults to "^v(\\d+\\.){2}\\d+(\\.\\d+)?$" to identify patterns of the from v0.0.1.9001.

an$tag_pattern #> [1] "^v(\\d+\\.){2}\\d+(\\.\\d+)?$"