obliterate functionality?

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at ceid.upatras.gr
Tue Mar 18 23:05:41 CDT 2008

On 2008-03-18 20:02, Ollivier Robert <roberto at keltia.freenix.fr> wrote:
>According to Bruce M Simpson:
>> The lack of obliterate functionality is a real barrier to the
>> possible future adoption of Mercurial by both XORP and the FreeBSD
>> Project, two projects where I wear hats, and have been trying to
>> encourage the adoption of Hg.
> /me raises hand :-)

I see there's many of us now :)

>> My grounds for advocating "obliterate" in view of those points, are
>> that in the situations outlined above, people can and do make
>> mistakes, and even if "obliterate" is not guaranteed to purge all
>> copies of a "leaked" or otherwise mistakenly committed revision, the
>> accountability is there and you can say you tried to obliterate the
>> file, regardless of the 
> To add to that, in the past when lawyers asked us (the FreeBSD
> project) to remove code from CVS, they were happy to have it removed
> the official repo regardless of how many copies were duplicated
> worldwide through our mirrors...
> It is, as Bruce said (and me, several times in the past), a real
> barrier to adoption...

The important detail here is that the lawyers, who are the most likely
bunch of folks to ask this sort of thing, do *NOT* really care if there
are a billion clones out there with the `obliterated' files in their
original un-obliterated form.

They are content with the `official' repository being `untainted' by the
`offending' files.

In the (currently fictional) case of a public http://hg.freebsd.org/
server which includes branches like:


The lawyers don't really care if I have an old copy of user/keramida at
home, on my laptop, or archived in a DVD-ROM disk somewhere.  They are
only interested in making sure that the `Project' is not endorsing or
supporting a clone with the obliterated files.

Now, I think it's relatively easy to agree that this is not a technical
problem at all, but Bruce is quite right that "the lack of obliterate
functionality is a real barrier to the possible future adoption of
Mercurial by FreeBSD" :-/

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