obliterate functionality?

Roman Kennke roman.kennke at aicas.com
Tue Mar 18 13:02:51 CDT 2008


> > > <sigh> Unfortunately, that is a poor assumption:
> > > http://blogs.quintor.nl/bbottema/2008/03/01/subversion-obliterate-the-forgotten-feature/
> >
> > It's much more than an assumption in Mercurial's case. Mercurial is a
> > distributed system and thus, obliteration is generally not possible even
> > in theory. Think of Mercurial like a newspaper: if you publish the
> > Pentagon Papers one morning, you cannot simply quietly retract them the
> > next. At that point, it's no longer a technical issue.
> Absolutely, it's not a technical issue. I agree 100% that once a
> repository is published and pulled from, you can't put the genie back
> into the bottle. However, that cuts both ways - it is both possible
> and reasonable to edit history on a purely private branch, before
> making it public. To use your newspaper analogy, the editorial team
> can pull stories at any time up to publication, and often may need to,
> because the content of a story is wrong, libellous, or even just plain
> not as important as something that has come in since.
> So I'd say that history editing should be possible, but it's not
> appropriate for a published repository.

AFAICS, this is actually possible right now. As long as you are the only
one working on the repo, it hurts nobody to simply hg convert the repo
and strip out everything that is not wanted.

If need to strip out something after publication, you can still do this.
You need to make sure everybody pulls the new repo etc, but this can't
be avoided in distributed systems anyway. This is really a social
engineering problem, not a technical one.


Dipl.-Inform. (FH) Roman Kennke, Software Engineer, http://kennke.org
aicas Allerton Interworks Computer Automated Systems GmbH
Haid-und-Neu-Straße 18 * D-76131 Karlsruhe * Germany
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