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Re: Is anyone working on "svn obliterate"?

From: Max Bowsher <maxb_at_ukf.net>
Date: 2005-01-31 17:14:50 CET

William Nagel wrote:
>> Out of even more curiosity, what does it do??? I'm just a user & have
>> no idea what it is...
>
> I think the idea is that you'd be able to run "svn obliterate" and
> completely remove a file from previous revisions.
>
> Seems like an extremely dangerous activity to be able to do with a
> simple client-level command.
>
> Besides, you can already do that with svndumpfilter and a repository
> dump/load. It's a pain in the butt, but retroactively deleting a file
> from previous revisions should be a pain in the butt.
>
> I think such a command would also be very difficult to implement,
> because I'm pretty sure that the Subversion API doesn't allow client
> programs to modify committed revisions, so it would take an API change
> to do it. (A good thing IMHO)
>
> -Bill Nagel
>
> P.S. I meant it's a good thing that the API doesn't allow the changes,
> not that changing the API to allow it would be good. :-)

Oh, I'm sure we will get around to doing it eventually.

But it will almost certainly be a svnadmin command, not a svn command, to
ensure it is presented as an administrative maintenance procedure. Also, I'm
fairly sure that it will need to acquire an exclusive lock on the
repository, in the same way that recover does.

One of the most intriguing problems is that there are so many different ways
you can slice space and time - it's not clear what the target of an
obliterate command should be. Should the unit of obliteration be a revision?
Or a file? Or a single version of a file? And should you be able to break a
thread of history in two? Or only obliterate from one end or the other?

Max.

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Received on Mon Jan 31 17:17:41 2005

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