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1.0.1-s • Public • Published

Release Notes

Generate release note pages from git commit history.


It's preferable to install it globally through npm

npm install -g kraken-release-notes


The basic usage is

cd <your_git_project>
kraken-release-notes <since>..<until> <template>


  • <since>..<until> specifies the range of commits as in git log, see gitrevisions(7)
  • <template> is an ejs template file used to generate the release notes

Three sample templates are included as a reference in the templates folder

This for example is the release notes generated for joyent/node by running

kraken-release-notes v0.9.8..v0.9.9 html > changelog.html

Node's release notes

Custom template

The second parameter of kraken-release-notes can be any path to a valid ejs template files.

Template Variables

Several template variables are made available to the script running inside the template.

commits is an array of commits, each containing

  • sha1 commit hash (%H)
  • authorName author name (%an)
  • authorEmail author email (%ae)
  • authorDate author date (%aD)
  • committerName committer name (%cn)
  • committerEmail committer email (%ce)
  • committerDate committer date (%cD)
  • title subject (%s)
  • messageLines array of body lines (%b)

dateFnsFormat is the date-fns format function. See the html-bootstrap for usage example.

options the object documented below. Useful for parsing the repository name. See the html-bootstrap for sample usage.

request is an instance of sync-request. This can be useful for querying the Jira API for example to extract extra metadata about a ticket related to a commit.

templateData is an object parsed as JSON that is passed through to the template and can contain any arbitary data as required by the template. Useful for using the same template across different repositories.

Command Line Options

More advanced command line options are

  • p or path Git project path, defaults to the current working path
  • b or branch Git branch, defaults to master
  • t or title Regular expression to parse the commit title (see next chapter)
  • m or meaning Meaning of capturing block in title's regular expression
  • f or file JSON configuration file. This is a better option when you don't want to pass all parameters to the command line, for an example see options.json
  • d or templateData JSON data file that is passed straight through to the template. Path should be relative to current working directory.

Title Parsing

Some projects might have special naming conventions for the commit title.

The options t and m allow to specify this logic and extract additional information from the title.

For instance, Aria Templates has the following convention

fix #123 Title of a bug fix commit
feat #234 Title of a cool new feature

In this case using

kraken-release-notes -t "^([a-z]+) #(\d+) (.*)$" -m type -m issue -m title v1.3.6..HEAD html

generates the additional fields on the commit object

  • type first capturing block
  • issue second capturing block
  • title third capturing block (redefines the title)

Another project using similar conventions is AngularJs, commit message conventions.

kraken-release-notes -t "^(\w*)(?:\(([\w\$\.]*)\))?\: (.*)$" -m type -m scope -m title v1.1.2..v1.1.3 markdown


To execute from this source against another repository, use a command like

node index.js -p C:\Code\other-repo 0841c28..9a480d5 ./templates/html-bootstrap.ejs > other-repo-notes.html


If the output is not what you expect, set the DEBUG environment variable:


DEBUG=release-notes:* kraken-release-notes ...


SET DEBUG=release-notes:*
kraken-release-notes ...


npm i kraken-release-notes

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