Hi Marianne,

On Thu, Aug 5, 2021, at 08:28, Marianne Corvellec wrote:
Since I just did *not* do it :s ... I realize that it could/should be the responsibility of the core dev who is squashing and merging to reword, if necessary, the 'main' commit message (which, if left unchanged, ends up being the PR title) and, perhaps(?), even the secondary commit messages (corresponding to the original individual commits).

I think that makes sense.  I'm thinking: unless it is clear that the author tidied up their commit history (rebased, edited each individual commit message to be descriptive), we should simply wipe the concatenated commit message list and fill it out as per your suggestion (sensible title, sensible description).

If anything, I would think that squash merges improve the situation, otherwise those 'long list[s] of items like "polish things up a bit" and "more verbose"' end up linearly in the main commit history (https://github.com/scikit-image/scikit-image/commits/main)... which is even worse, isn't it?  Am I missing something?

It does improve things, but it's still pretty ugly.  Just do `git log` and see how much useful information is in there; it's mainly gibberish over the last few commits (with the exception of Mauro Silberberg's beautiful commit message in 51410b6b1c0688d767eae5ac03bc849e77b13da5).

* adding a line about commit messages in https://scikit-image.org/docs/stable/contribute.html;
* spreading the word about good/standard commit messages whenever we get a chance, whether formally or informally (e.g., https://github.com/scikit-image/scikit-image/pull/5479#issuecomment-881948156).

+1 on adding guidance to the documentation.

W.r.t. suggestions to contributors: I'd focus on structure over style, and then just have core members fix them up as needed upon merge.

Best regards,