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+<chapter id="gbp.releases">
+ <title>Releases and Snapshots</title>
+ <para>When branching and merging frequently, the different Debian changelog
+ entries on the different branches tend to get into the way of the automatic
+ merge and the the merge fails - leaving the (patholigical) merge to the
+ committer. In order to avoid this &git-dch; offers a way for creating
+ changelog entries from &git; commits before doing a
+ release or anytime between releases.</para>
+ <para>
+ The simplest way is doing all the changes to the
+ <emphasis>debian</emphasis>-branch without touching
+ <emphasis>debian/changelog</emphasis> at all. Then, when done, do:
+ </para>
+&git-dch; --release
+ <para> This will look up the latest released version in the changelog,
+ increment the version in the &debian; changelog, generate changelog
+ messages from the corresponding &git; commit id up to the branch head and
+ finally spawns an editor for final changelog file editing by invoking &dch;
+ <option>--release</option>.</para>
+ <para>
+ But what if you want to have an (unreleased) snapshot for intermediate testing:
+&git-dch; --snapshot
+ <para>will generate a snapshot release with a specially crafted version number
+ and a warning in the changelog that this is a snapshort release:
+ </para>
+git-buildpackage (0.3.7~1.gbp470ce2) UNRELEASED; urgency=low
+ ** SNAPSHOT build @470ce29ec7877705c844474a2fd89869aea0406d **
+ * add support for automatic snapshot
+ <para>During subsequent calls with <option>--snapshot</option> this version
+ number will continue to increase. Since the snapshot banners contains the
+ commit id of the current branch head, &git-dch; can figure out what to
+ append to the changelog by itself:
+&git-dch; --snapshot --auto
+ will fetch the commit id and add changelog entries from that point to the
+ current HEAD - again auto incrementing the version number. If you don't want
+ to start at that commit id, you can specify any id or tag with:</para>
+&git-dch; --since=e76a6a180a57701ae4ae381f74523cacb3152780 --snapshot
+ <para>
+ After testing you can remove the snapshot header by a final &git-dch; call:
+ </para>
+&git-dch; --since=HEAD --release
+ <para>
+ This will add no further entries but simply remove the specially crafted
+ version number and the snapshort header. Again you can use any commit id
+ or tag instead of <option>HEAD</option> if you want to add further changelog
+ entries - or you can (of course) use <option>--auto</option> again.
+ </para>