Having spent a couple hours going over things, I have data wrangling from git log and mantis pretty well figured out.
The big issue is correlating the two. For example, in some of the closed issues in Mantis, there's a related changeset note which includes the first few characters of the git commit hash - that's easy to correlate. In other cases, there might be a link to the commit in the notes... which I can extract. However, I suspect that there's a number of mantis items which are not associated with a git commit.
So I see automating the process of release notes to be rather challenging without some quality control on the data moving forward. I'm going to assume that it would be preferable to use Mantis as the front-end for summarizing the commit history - otherwise, git commits need individual tagging, which, I'm sure, is not at all a desirable change to have to make.
Anyway, I understand developing the release notes is a bit of a manual job - I don't expect to do it entirely by script - but, of course, the more I can automate, the better.
That said, what, exactly, would be desirable in a release notes document? Are we talking about just a very brief summary of Mantis items and their immediate git commits? Or something more extensive including related commit history? I'm assuming it would be desirable to have something more than just a raw list of roughly-categorized git commits since the previous release...
Incidentally, I'm a bit overwhelmed trying to sort this out as well as develop release notes for 0.18. I don't mind giving it a shot, but I wouldn't mind a little assistance.