obliterate functionality?

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 18:02:55 CDT 2008

On 18/03/2008, Martin Geisler <mg at daimi.au.dk> wrote:
> As others have told you, then this is not possible if other people have
>  already pulled from the repository -- they now have their own copy of
>  the data you want to delete, and there is nothing you can do to make
>  them delete it!

This thread has resulted in an awful lot of absolute statements.
Things are not really so black and white.

Of course it's possible to get people to delete copies of a
repository. You just ask them.

Certainly, they might refuse to, or simply ignore you. But the world
isn't going to end because of this. And in general, people respect the
wishes of the leaders of a project.

There are circumstances where rewriting history is bad, and
circumstances where it's OK. And there are situations in between.
Mercurial chooses to make rewriting history hard, based on a view that
it will be commonly used in situations where history rewrites are
generally bad. No problem with that. However, in any use I make of
Mercurial, rewriting history is likely to be fine, as it will be
purely personal use. So I'm using Mercurial in an unusual way - that's
my choice, and I'd like to know what options I have, rather than being
told "you shouldn't do that because X, Y and Z could happen" - when X,
Y and Z are irrelevant to my personal situation.

I have no problem with the design choices of Mercurial. But I'm
interested in the options for things like history rewrites. So can we
keep the discussion somewhat less dogmatic?


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