How to Implement a Changelog and Why Should You Do This?


When working in a team to actualize your concepts, the development phase will have your complete focus. And documentation will frequently be a last-minute decision. Most software development teams work in that way.

You might need to be more structured as your software product becomes popular. Collaboration with your increasing employees will become more complicated if you are less organized.

Changelogs may assist with this. They act as a connection between your operating system product’s past and current versions. When designed effectively, this powerful tool may improve trust and confidence among both your team and consumers of your product. Changelogs are crucial in open-source software, which is generated by a worldwide community of developers.

This brief article provides some ideas and recommendations on implementing an effective changelog for your open-source or proprietary software application.

What is Changelog and its Purpose?

It’s possible that you came across the word “changelog” but have no idea what it refers to. A changelog is a log that is kept of all the modifications that are made to a piece of software.

After that, a chronological record of the changes made is created so that customers can track how a product has developed over time. By adhering to a predetermined format for the changelog, you can facilitate the recording of changes made systematically, and you may make it simpler for contributors to recognize significant changes.

Is it the Same as Release Notes? What’s the Difference?

Users are prone to mixing changelogs with release notes if they do not have a suitable changelog example to look to. However, they are not effectively the same process at all.

Release notes are documents that provide a wordy summary regarding the introduction of a new version for an item or brand. These notes are typically found in software development. They often provide in-depth information about the adjustments made and the effects those updates had on the users in the end.

They also contain the issues that were fixed, and in the case of open-source software, the release notes can even function as an instruction manual booklet.

However, changelogs are brief and clear, and concise. They have compiled lists of the software’s modifications, additions, and deletions. They are more relevant to the team creating the program than to the potential consumers and end users.

In other cases, they will also provide some conceptual information that is not highly relevant for most non-techy end users, such as details regarding the bug fixing process.

On the other hand, Changelogs list notable changes made in a less complicated and more technically oriented manner. Changelogs, like release notes, can be developed with the assistance of a changelog tool. In other words, release notes are used more thoroughly when explaining what has changed or hasn’t changed.

How Do I Implement a Good Changelog?

Guiding Principles

  • The date when each version was initially published is shown.
  • Indicate whether or not you are familiar with the Semantic Versioning system.
  • Changelogs are designed for the public and end-users.
  • There ought to be a separate entry for every variation.
  • It is essential to categorize changes that are the same type.
  • Updates and segments must be directly linked.
  • The most recent version is presented first.


  • Added to support new features.
  • Adapted to accommodate alterations to pre-existing functionalities.
  • Modified for use with features that will shortly be removed.
  • Removed Features
  • Updated for any errors or bugs.
  • Security

Make sure to use a reliable changelog software like ReleasePad that will make your changelog clear and noticeable on your website.

Negative Aspect to Changelogs?

Commit log diffs

It’s not a good idea to use commit log diffs as changelogs because they contain a lot of noise. Things like merging commit modifications to documentation with obscure titles, and so on.

The act of committing changes to source code serves the objective of documenting a particular stage in the development of the code. While other projects don’t bother to clean up commits, others do.

An entry in a changelog is meant to document significant differences, which frequently span numerous commits, to explain such differences to end users effectively.

Choosing to Ignore Deprecations

When users update from one form to another, it ought to be very evident when anything will become inoperable. It ought to be able to update to a version that includes deprecations, remove what has been deprecated, and then upgrade to a version in which the deprecations have been transformed into removals.

Ensure that your changelog lists any deprecations, deletions, and modifications that break things.

The Benefits of Maintaining an Up-to-Date Changelog

The major purpose of updated changelogs is to fulfill the obligation of informing customers or viewers of any recent and significant modifications made to the system.

Assists Customers in Remaining Informed

If customers knew that recent big modifications had been made to the system without their being told, most of them will be frustrated. Changelogs are a method that can be utilized to inform end-users of any significant modifications that have been made to the system. They wouldn’t have to deal with any major problems if they did it this way.

Tracks Changes Made

If consumers are susceptible to confusion, then developers are as well. Changelogs are helpful tools that can be used to keep track of significant changes made to the system. In this method, they would be able to rapidly determine what other problems require solutions, such as whether there were faults in the most recent upgrades.


To wrap up this article, suppose you are thinking about working on some projects and how to implement a changelog, and why you should do this. Then you should give some thought to the possibility of creating your own changelog now that you are aware of all that can be found in a changelog as well as the relevance of using one and producing one.

Keep in mind that you are now writing as a result of recent changes or additions that have been made to the project. If you write them in the standard method, you will have to scroll to the end of the text to find the most recent update.