sharing secret changesets with friends

Pierre-Yves David pierre-yves.david at
Tue Feb 18 15:56:34 CST 2014

On 02/16/2014 05:02 PM, Dov Feldstern wrote:
> I like to keep changesets that are still in-development secret --
> keeping them just as draft is risky, since I find that I am wont to
> "push" without limiting what branch I'm pushing, with the result that
> I push work that is not really ready to be published (this was not so
> much of a problem with mq, since patches did not get pushed by
> default, but now that I'm switching to evolve -- which I am generally
> very happy with :) -- this is more of an issue).

My usual solution to this is to have a different `default` and 
`default-push` path.


   default =
   default-push =

So any push to a publishing server are explicit.

> OTOH, keeping the changesets secret means I can't share them with
> *any* repositories, though often I would like to be able to share
> among my different non-publishing repositories (this is one of the
> main drivers for switching from mq to evolve -- that with evolve it
> should be easier to share in-progress, still-mutating, work). This is
> also similar to the questions asked at [1,2], the answers to which I
> find not very satisfying (no offense, Martin!).

The phase dedicated to -in-progress- changeset I want to 
-share-with-other-people- are -draft-.

You issue here seems to be accidentaly publication of such draft 
changeset. So, maybe we should improve this aspect of the problem. This 
could includes:

- hook warning you when you are pushing draft to secret changeset.
- special configuration on the path to mark it as "no auto publish"
   (more on that below)
- `--no-publish` flag on push

(I'll talk about valid case for secret exchange later)

> But even this simple implementation has already raised some issues:
> 1. The pushed secret changesets get promoted to "draft" in both the
> local and remote repos. What's actually happening, I think, is that
> the csets get pushed to the remote as "draft", and then the comparison
> of the local with the remote finds that they are draft in the remote,
> and so promotes them to draft locally as well. (It was easy enough to
> prevent the promotion of the local csets, but I couldn't find where
> the promotion of the remote ones was happening; and if they get
> promoted, then preventing the promotion of the local ones is
> meaningless or downright wrong.) So, any tips on where the promotion
> of the remote changesets to "draft" is happening?

This is expected. New changeset added to a repo are added as draft (or 
public if publishing). There is no concept of "new changeset pushed as 
secret" as the fact someone was able to push them imply there were 

And they try draft locally because they have been seen as draft remotely 
so their phase is moved to the lowest known one (draft < secret).

> 2. If the secret changesets in the remote are manually forced back to
> secret, then subsequent 'outgoing -F' shows them again as outgoing!

Yes, because secret mean "no advertised by server".
(rest of the paragraph made my head hurt, ignoring it for now)

> 3. Just a general observation after having looked at the code a bit:
> it seems that the *current* semantics of secrets are pretty widely
> assumed, so I'm a *little* worried about being able to cover all
> edge-cases with a change like this...

You are right, the secret semantic is well established and well enforced.

A simplistic view of your current plan can be "attempt to make secret 
phase a sightly altered draft phase". And this way is not going to fly. 
Once you start thinking about various level of draft changeset you end 
up with:

- really secret changeset
- changeset you want to share with repo on you machine
- changeset you want to share with you various machine
- changeset you want to share with continuous integration
- changeset you want to share with your close coworker
- changeset you want to share with your team
- changeset you want to share with your review system
- changeset you want to share with all the company
- changeset you want to share with the alpha version repo
- changeset you want to share with the beta version repo
- changeset you want to share with the production version repo
- changeset you want to share with the old stable version repo
- changeset you want to share with the open source product repo
- etc…

This is why we stick to very simple public / draft / secret model in the 
end. We can't build a sane model generic enough for all use case. We 
need another tools for that.

> Does this idea sound interesting/useful to anyone else? And if so, any
> pointers on how to move ahead with this?

Even if I do not believe in your current approach as is, You are 
definitely pointing interesting issue that need proper solution. I would 
advertise a different approach:

1) make it harder to publish//exchange thing by mistake with some repo.

2) build a small dedicated solution to allow secret changeset in bundle 
and `backup push`

For (1) I think the MacHg developer wrote some interresting proposal on 
this list about one year ago.

I think we need to introduce a "path attribute" concept somehow. Maybe 
something like this

   toto = = true
   toto.filter = branch("default") and ::tagged()

(not doable this way for backward compatibility reason but you get the idea)

Thanks for your interrest in phase and evolution. I appreciate it and I 
hope this reception on your initial idea for does not wear of your interest.

Pierre-Yves David

More information about the Mercurial-devel mailing list