obliterate functionality?

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 04:18:30 CDT 2008

On 19/03/2008, Martin Geisler <mg at daimi.au.dk> wrote:
> "Paul Moore" <p.f.moore at gmail.com> writes:
>  > 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.
> Of course! That is easy to do with Mercurial too: you simply strip
>  away the offending changesets on all your clones and ask people to do
>  the same.

Thanks. I apologise if I sounded grumpy, it was getting late last
night and I was struggling to see the technical content through the
philosophy. My problem, not anyone else's.

Could I ask, at a technical level, if I have a file XXX in my
repository, maybe added a few changes ago (possibly lots, on the case
of the FreeBSD guys, but they can probably speak for themselves), how
would I remove that file from my repository?

1. What commands would I use? hg strip was mentioned, but that looks
like it would also remove any other unrelated changes made after the
addition, so presumably I'd need to do some cleanup as well - how
would I do that? Another option mentioned was hg convert, presumably
I'd use a filemap to exclude the offending file, is there anything
else I'd need to do (for example, if my repository was a private copy
of a public project and I wanted to continue pulling after fixing my

2. What implications might there be? For example, I mention above the
case of a private copy of a public repository. Would I break the
relationship between the two? Specifically, can it be made to *only*
change the hashes of changesets from the introduction of file XXX

Maybe a wiki page explaining the options for this type of operation
(with all the warnings and caveats) would help stop the question
coming up repeatedly.


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