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Re: Proposal for sponsored development of "Obliterate"

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 19:44:05 +0100


For now, just a quick thank-you for this response. I appreciate your
points. I'll look for my "notable case" (your no. 3) among the use cases
I've seen, and work out some amendments.

- Julian

Jack Repenning wrote:
> On Jul 19, 2009, at 11:26 AM, Julian Foad wrote:
> > I now have a fairly detailed proposal for developing "Obliterate".
> > (Attached.)
> In your Intro, you call out the two distinct forms I've know of for
> Obliterate, then add what you call a "notable case of the former":
> removal of certain deltas of a file, leaving prior and subsequent
> history intact. I think this case deserves visibility as yet a third
> case, rather than being treated as a subcase of either of the others.
> So we would have these Obliterate cases:
> 1. Utterly removing all traces that a certain file or collection of
> files ever existed in the repository. (My restatement of your first
> case.)
> 2. Removing obsolete data from space motives. (Your second.)
> 3. Selective excision of history from file or files whose prior and
> subsequent history remains intact. (Your "notable case.")
> Not the least of my reasons for wanting to call this a separate item
> is this: at CollabNet, we've had many customers asking for #1 and #2,
> but to the best of my knowledge not a single word has ever been spoken
> in favor of #3.
> Given the frequent and emphatic demands for numbers 1 and 2 we've had,
> I am candidly baffled why CollabNet has not managed to fund this work
> to date (and I hope you'll include us in your list of people to whom
> to submit the proposal). But I would be surprised if CollabNet were
> willing to extend any deadlines or provide any incremental funding for
> the third form.
> Similarly, the commercial input we've had on this feature is almost
> totally unconcerned about the impact on working copies. While no doubt
> everyone would agree that preserving WC health where possible is good,
> rather than bad, the people who have offered us money for anything in
> this domain were perfectly willing to sacrifice this in order to get
> the primary, server-side benefits.
> Going back to my restatement of your first case: one change I made in
> the wording was to remove the word "accidentally." There's some point
> to this: the thing added was often no accident, but rather further
> review, or changing circumstances, compel the removal. A real-world
> example that may be familiar to at least some readers: in the Eclipse
> community, they have fairly detailed constraints on the licensing of
> externally sourced modules added to the Eclipse site. But because
> review is expensive, they also have a procedure called something like
> "Deferred Intellectual Property," where an Eclipse project is allowed
> to add previously un-reviewed stuff speculatively, in parallel with
> launching the license review. If the review should turn out badly,
> then the component must be removed--utterly removed: the lawyers have
> determined that the mere presence of this module in the build tree is
> a license violation. They're not concerned with preserving working
> copy health for any working copy that includes the banned module: any
> such working copy is a liability; if anything, it *should* begin
> failing. They're not concerned with excising a nibble of history, they
> want the whole dang thing gone, as if it had never been. And it may
> well be that quite a number of development and interim builds have
> been done, quite a number of dependent changes have been made, with
> the now-banned module in place: it is, if anything, *desirable* that
> such builds now become un-buildable, such changes fail to compile, and
> whatever work it takes now be performed to replace or do without the
> now-banned module. I removed "accidentally" in order to open the door
> to this possibility of nontrivial amounts of accumulated history, and
> nontrivial history breakage.
> You asked:
> > Do you think it's OK to leave time and money estimates till after
> > someone shows an interest?
> It's perfectly reasonable to leave out time and money from the
> proposal you provide here, since it doesn't even commit itself to what
> will actually be done! ;-) But I would think anyone considering
> sponsorship would want to know that, and would certainly need a cost
> write-up before committing. I dunno, though, how you best dance your
> way into something more concrete (cf. "baffled," above).
> -==-
> Jack Repenning
> Chief Technology Officer
> CollabNet, Inc.
> 8000 Marina Boulevard, Suite 600
> Brisbane, California 94005
> office: +1 650.228.2562
> twitter: http://twitter.com/jrep

Received on 2009-07-27 20:44:39 CEST

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