README generated with Documatic.

Quickly generate changelogs
and release notes
by analysing your git history.
A tool written in python,
but works on any language.
Once installed,
simply run


in a terminal
in a git-enabled
project directory,
and a changelog will be generated.
For advanced changelog generation,
you can use the Documatic API.

Getting started


  • python >= 3.8
  • git
  • “good” commit messages
  • Git version tags

Minimum python 3.8.
Project actively supports python 3.8,
To install,
clone the repository
and run pip install -e .
to package locally
pip install doculog.

Doculog works by reading git commit messages
and inferring what changes are being made.
It assumes that you are writing
your commit messages as actions:
e.g. “Add some feature”,
Fix a particular bug”.
While it’s good practice to have the action
in the present,
imperitive tense,
doculog accepts past verbs.
See git best practices
for more information
on this git commit writing style.
Standard doculog looks through a list
of expected verbs
(open an issue/contribute a PR if there are some missing!),
but the extended version
includes additional logic
for classifying commit message,
which allows you to be more lax
with your commit messages.

API key

To generate a changelog
with a full feature-set,
doculog requires a (free)
API key.
Join the waitlist
for an API key
by signing up here.
Someone will be in touch with your API key.
In the meantime,
doculog works without an API key
(you just won’t have access to advanced features).

doculog uses python-dotenv
to load environment variables
stored in a .env file.
To use your API key,
create a .env file
in your project root directory
with the following fields:

DOCUMATIC_API_KEY = <your-api-key>


Generate a Changelog

In a terminal,
run doculog
to create
from your git commit history,
or update an existing changelog.
The “Unreleased” section corresponds to updates
not attached to a version.
Each changelog update version
may contain the following sections:
Each section header will only appear
in the version
if it has at least one update.
Note: doculog will overwrite changes made
to the “Unreleased” section
every time it is run,
however tagged versions are not overwritten.
you can manually edit
and add updates
to a version release.

To get the best out of the changelog,
read the concepts below
for information on
git commits
and version tags.


Git commit parsing

The initial logic for generating a changelog
comes from reading
your git commit messages.
commit messages to begin with an imperitive verb,
and to written passively.
doculog parses the message for signalling words
and phrases.

E.g. Rename 'my_func' to 'my_awesome_func'
will get interpreted as a “Changed” feature.
Whereas 'my_func' -> 'my_awesome_func'
will not.

Version tags

Changelogs break down your project’s featureset
by each release.
doculog infers a release has been made
by reading the git tags of your project.
If you don’t have any git tags,
your changelog will only have an “Unreleased” section.
To make a git tag,
run git tag -a v<MAJOR>-<MINOR>-<PATCH>
(and git push --tags to push to your remote);
This assumes you’re using semver
versioning system.

Note: not using semver or git tags to release your project?
Open an issue on the doculog repo
detailing your method to get it supported
by doculog.


You can configure how doculog runs
by adding a tool.doculog section
to pyproject.toml.

Field Purpose Required Default value
changelog Name of changelog file generated. “.md” suffix added if not present. No
project The name of your project. Used to title the changelog No The name of your root project folder
local If true, use a local sever for advanced features. Only used for project development No false

For example,
your pyproject.toml file might be:

changelog = "CHANGELOG"
project = "My Cool Project"


Read the contributing guide
for information on coding styles
and workflow.

Run pip install -r requirements-dev.txt
to get developer requirements.

CI file Purpose
test.yml Linting and unit testing. Runs on every pull request


I want more intelligent featureset generation. What can I do?

Request access to the free Documatic API
to generate a changelog
driven by machine learning.
Follow Documatic on GitHub
and socials
to stay up to date
with the latest features
and releases.

How do I get my API key?

Once you’ve joined the waitlist,
we will be in touch shortly
with your API key.

The changelog is great, but I want more!

Get in touch – [email protected].

I’m not getting a complete changelog. What’s gone wrong?

Check that you have appropriate version tags
and commit messages.
If you have the advanced featureset
(i.e. have an API key)
then you will get better changelog updates
which don’t require you to follow
the commit process
so strictly.
If you’re still not getting good results,
please open a bug report.

Can I contribute to doculog?

feature requests,
bug fixes,
bug reports
and PRs of all shapes and sizes
are welcome.
See the developers


Licensed under GNU GPL3.
Please see the [LICENSE]
for terms in full.

Generated by Documatic.


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