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A CHANGES/NEWS file creator

Project description


pipeline status coverage report Documentation Status REUSE status Contributor Covenant standard-readme compliant

A tool for building CHANGES/NEWS files from fragments.

Inspired by towncrier, but completely language-agnostic and markup-agnostic. (The default template uses markdown, but all formatting is controlled by Jinja2 templates so you can change that as desired.)

Maintained at

Documentation also available at

Table of Contents


The concept behind towncrier is great: ease the maintenance burden of creating human-readable changelogs (for projects where a git log/shortlog won't suffice) and simultaneously

  • have each contributor/change author describe their own change for a human-readable changelog
  • avoid merge conflicts from everyone editing the same changelog file

Towncrier, as well as Proclamation, do this by having "changelog fragments" accumulate between releases, and combining them (with a template and some metadata) when running the tool before a release. While towncrier is focused on Python and .rst formatting, Proclamation is explicitly language-neutral (a motivating use case was a mixed-content repo with specifications as well as C++ code) and markup-neutral (all formatting is done by a Jinja2 template: the default is markdown but you can complete change the formatting if you supply a custom template.)


Note: Contributors to your Proclamation-using project do not need to install Proclamation -- all they have to do is create a text file, and only the person doing releases strictly needs to install Proclamation. However, there are some utilities that they might find useful if they do.

Proclamation requires Python 3.6 or newer.

Proclamation is available on pypi, so you can install it for your local user with:

pip3 install --user proclamation

Updating to a new release would be done with

pip3 install --user --upgrade proclamation

Alternately, you can install from this repository. If you do this, it's recommended to install this in a virtualenv. Something like this will work on *nix-like systems, adjusted for your shell usage.

# Create a virtualenv in `venv`
python3 -m venv venv

# Activate it
. venv/bin/activate

# Install a link to this package in the venv.
pip install --editable .

If you follow those instructions, the virtualenv will refer to the source instead of copying the source, so updating your local clone of this repo will also update the virtualenv. Omit the --editable if you want other behavior.

Note that the venv/bin/proclamation script can be run from outside the venv, through the magic of setuptools, so if you want to be able to use it elsewhere on your system, you might symlink it into a directory that's in your PATH.


For detailed instructions that you might consider copying and modifying for your own project, see

Proclamation itself is primarily used through the command line by the person making releases.

If the proclamation command line tool doesn't quite suit your complex needs, you can access the bulk of the functionality through using this as a Python module. See the command line interface driver, proclamation/, to see how it interacts with the underlying capabilities.


Proclamation has command-line help available by passing --help. You can access general help, listing overall options and subcommands, as follows:

proclamation --help

Additionally, each subcommand has its own help text, describing it and its available options, for example:

proclamation build --help

A brief description of the two most common subcommands follows.

To see a preview of the changelog additions that would be made if you released a new version right now, run

proclamation draft

The draft subcommand is the most useful one to non-maintaining contributors who choose to install Proclamation, as it lets them verify their changelog fragment(s) appear as desired.

The main subcommand used by maintainers is build, for example like this:

proclamation build YOUR_VERSION_NUMBER_HERE --delete-fragments --overwrite

This command updates your changelog file(s) (overwriting the original), and removes your used changelog fragments for you. (You still need to remove them from your version control system.)




This tool was initially developed by Ryan Pavlik in the course of his work at the open-source software consultancy Collabora. Thanks to Collabora and their "Open First" mantra for supporting the development of this software.

A debt of gratitude is owed to the developers of the towncrier package, which strongly inspired the usage pattern for this tool. (Before writing this tool, Ryan initially attempted to modify towncrier to suit the use cases he had.) It's definitely a project worth looking into if you maintain a Python project. (The Proclamation project doesn't use it, despite being in Python, because it uses itself...) Ryan first learned about towncrier at Stephen Finucane's talk at FOSDEM 2020.

Code of Conduct

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.


If you have questions or found a bug, feel free to file an issue on the GitLab project for Proclamation.

Merge requests are gratefully accepted. To develop on Proclamation, you'll probably want to follow the virtualenv installation instructions above to locally install a link in a virtualenv.

Additionally, consider the following suggestions/requirements:

  • Run pytest-3 or similar to run the automated tests.
  • Run autopep8 proclamation/*.py proclamation/test/*.py --in-place to automatically format the source code with autopep8.
  • Use tox to run flake8 as well as tests for multiple Python versions.
    • e.g. on Debian Buster, you can run tox -e py37,flake8 (adding py35 if you upgraded from Stretch and never removed python 3.5)
  • When submitting a change, be sure to create your changelog fragment in the changes directory! :)
  • If editing the README, please conform to the standard-readme specification.

No copyright assignment is required to contribute. However, you are required to make your contributions available under the prevailing license for that content type (see below) for it to be accepted into the main repo.


The tl;dr is: The bulk of the package is Apache-2.0 licensed. Files that you might incorporate into your own project are CC0 (public domain dedication or nearest equivalent based on jurisdiction); this is so you can freely use them into your project no matter what license you use.

Every file has an SPDX license tag and copyright or author information in it which should be considered the authoritative licensing data.

Note that dependencies and third-party documents may have their own licenses. For instance, the code of conduct, based on the Contributor Covenant v2.0, is licensed CC-BY-4.0.

This project is REUSE-compliant (version 3.0 of the REUSE specification). You can use that project's tools to work with copyright and licenses of files in this project.

Default license, including all Python code files

Copyright 2019-2021 Collabora, Ltd. and the Proclamation contributors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Templates and this documentation

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC0-1.0
SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2021 Collabora, Ltd. and the Proclamation contributors
  • This file
  • proclamation/templates/*

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work
has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work. This
work is published from: United States.

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