When I’m doing maintenance on my computer systems, I sometimes find myself wondering what I was thinking when I made a configuration change, (un-)installed a package, etc. At one point, I attempted to keep a log in a text file that I could refer to later so that, in case there was an undesirable behavior observed, I could correlate the timing of the disturbance with intentional system changes. My attempt failed due, in part, to lack of discipline, but in many cases the changes I make are so incremental and sometimes arbitrary that it seems like overkill to record the change at all. The issue is really one of convenience though: If I got prompted to enter a message when I installed or removed packages, it would make it far more likely that the messages were actually recorded for my future self’s benefit. I think for the use-case of package management, at least, it should be simple to add hooks or wrappers on command line tools I already use for package management to issue a “log entry” prompt.
I should emphasize, that I’m not talking about a declarative configuration and change management system like with, say Ansible + Git . My system is, effectively, single-user and otherwise not volatile enough to justify such detailed records — a log in my own words generally describing what I did along with key details would suffice.