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Re: Obliterate and auditability

From: C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 09:55:00 -0400

Branko Čibej wrote:
> Miha Vitorovic wrote:
>> Branko Čibej <brane_at_xbc.nu> wrote on 21.04.2008 08:13:42:
>>> Possibly ... but I'd really like to see a rock-solid argument for the
>>> case where we'd want all traces of obliteration ... er, obliterated.
>>> The
>>> whole idea smells wrong; after all, this is a version control system,
>>> not a document shredding system.
>> This may be a stupid question, but doesn't some fiddling with the dump
>> file achieve exactly that? So even though there is no "svn obliterate"
>> command, putting it in would not make you any more responsible for
>> destroying potential evidence than you (the project) already are.
> I'd prefer not to be hung for a naïve-seeming sheep.

Actually, I think this point about there already existing a way to
accomplish breadcrumb-free obliteration is a meaningful one, because it
relinquishes us as developers of the obligation to support all such
use-cases as first-class features. I say that Subversion shouldn't bother
with dropping revisions, should record obliterations as revision properties,
and that's that. If folks want to modify those revprops later to mask the
obliteration, a mechanism already exists for doing us. If they further wish
to drop the now-empty revisions, mechanisms (albeit not-so-automated ones)
exist for doing that, too. Let those who wish to rewrite history do so at
their cost, not ours.

Karl's obliterate-via-svnsync plan (in that he was the first to send
dev-list email about this already-considered idea) seems like a good one; a
fine way to finally answer this feature request which has been haunting us
for years. I am in favor of seeing this feature happen, so I don't want to
come across as an anti-obliterater. But I resonate with those who believe
that auditability as a goal runs closer to the spirit of what a version
control tool is than does the untraceable disposal of versioned data.

C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
CollabNet   <>   www.collab.net   <>   Distributed Development On Demand

Received on 2008-04-22 07:15:35 CEST

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