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Portland Linux/Unix Group General Monthly Meeting: Ben Koenig on a Linux Changelog

Oregon Latvian Community Center
5500 SW Dosch Road
Portland, OR 97239, USA (map)



Ever wondered how many package updates were released for your favorite distro in the past month? Or how many times you have had to upgrade Firefox?

The Linux Changelog Project is an attempt to present statistics for the development and maintenance of Linux Distributions based on publicly available changelog data. By creating a distro-agnostic view of all changelog updates for a given project, we can see how the size and activity of a given distribution compares to its peers. At the moment only Fedora and Slackware are supported, but over time more distributions will be added. The end goal is to provide a web interface that will allow people to search for and browse the millions of package updates across all major Linux distributions.

As someone who is largely self-taught in the world of GNU/Linux, projects like this are how I learn about the Linux ecosystem and practice skills that I apply to my career in IT support. While my experience goes all the way back to the dark days of HAL I'm still surprised by what I find hiding in the various corners of the Linux world. Working with the changelog formats of different distributions has challenged hat I thought I knew, and I hope other users (new and old) will find it interesting as well.