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Finally see what's changed when you do npm update. Changelog generates a changelog for npm modules and github repos.
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Command line util and api that returns a changelog for modules in npm and repos on

Command-line Usage

Usage: changelog {npm package name or github repo url}
  • Github urls can be any format, such as or or even just
  • Node projects without the repository url defined in the package.json will not work.
  • The default output format is Markdown. Use --json to get JSON output.


Node Package

$ changelog request

Upcoming / 2011-08-02

  * Merge pull request #53 from benatkin/parse-json
    Parse json: Issue #51
  * support JSON APIs that don't set the write content type
  * allow empty string
  * implement parsing json response when json is truthy
  * add failing test for issue #51
  * Clearer spacing. Slightly more consistent.
  * Style fixes. Bye Bye semi-colons. Mostly lined up with npm style.
  * Return destination stream from pipe().

2.0.1 / 2011-07-21

  * Drastically improved header handling.
  * valid semver.

2.0.0 / 2011-07-21

  * w00t! request 2.0
  * If the error is handled and not throw we would still process redirects.
    Fixes #34.
  * Add body property to resp when we have it as a shorthand. fixes #28
  * Adding reference to Request instance on response to make it easier on
    inline callbacks. fixes #43.

---cut for space---

Github Repo

$ changelog


  * windows: Fix test-module-load-list
  * Remove debug code
  * child_process_uv: Handle spawn errors
  * Upgrade libuv to 023f99a


  * link to rpcrt4 and ole32 on win32
  * Upgrade libuv to e9bee51
  * child_process_uv: fix test/simple/test-child-process-env
  * child_process_uv: fix simple/test-child-process-cwd
  * child_process_uv: add exec, fix simple/test-child-process-exec-cwd
  * Forgot to add child_process_uv.js
  * initial pass at lib/child_process_uv.js

  ---cut for space---

Changelog API

Changelog can be easily integrated into other tools.

var Changelog = require('changelog');

Changelog.npm('request', callback);
Changelog.github('joyent/node', callback);

function callback(err, changelog) {
    //changelog is an array of "versions"
    //With npm each "version" corresponds to all changes for that build pushed on npm
    //With github each "version" is one GMT day of changes
    changelog.forEach(function(version) {
        console.log(version.version); //npm only
        console.log(;    //JS Date
        //version.changes is an array of commit messages for that version
        version.changes.forEach(function(change) {
            console.log(' * ' + change);

How it works

  • Changelog works with Node packages by looking at the repository url. Packages without this set will not work.
  • Changes are collected using a single Github V3 API call that returns 100 changes. This means it will currently not show more than 100 changes.
  • Changelog attempts to guestimate the approprate version number for each Github commit message based on the timestamp of the change and packages are published.
  • It will not work with packages in other repos such as BitBucket.
  • Changelog cannot access history for private repos.


  • Work with more package managers such as brew and gem? These are beyond my expertise but I would be happy to merge in pull requests.
  • Integrate into npm update?
  • Integrate into git pull?
  • Warn when there are more than 100 commits available.
  • Support paging Github's API to aquire more than 100 commits.
  • Additional output options: --text --rss --atom --html
  • Option to show code diff.
  • Ability to set the start and end version.
  • Use Git tags to detect versions
  • Add examples
  • Add header and/or footer to the markdown output
  • If the package.json does not have a propper repoistory link then show the author's name and email and suggest contacting the author.


Using npm just do:

npm-g install changelog

The -g installs changelog globally so you can use the changelog command anywhere.

To make sure you have the latest version:

npm-g update


Dylan Greene built this because he was always curious what was changed when doing npm update. The name has nothing to do with TheChangelog, a podcast Dylan was listening to while creating this tool.

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