[cvsnt] Undo Commit?

Gerhard Fiedler lists at connectionbrazil.com
Fri Jun 15 11:45:26 BST 2007

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Arthur Barrett wrote:

>> I never had a problem with this decision. I only delete the revisions
>> that for one reason or another (well, it's always space :) I have to
>> delete. The others just stay there. 
> The last time you did this - did you take a backup before running the
> admin command?

Not exactly immediately before, but the night before. And I have the most
recent version (plus a few others before) in the various sandboxes.

>>> Deleting -kB revisions may or may not work
>> I think this is the issue, for me at least. If there is a known bug --
>> and a command that's supposed to do something but doesn't do it (or
>> even may not do it) is a bug IMO --, that command should be disabled.
>> So just don't let the command delete revisions on files that are or at
>> any point were -kB. Similarly for all other known malfunctions. 
> I am not aware of any bugs that need fixing in relation to this.  There
> *may* be a bug, but in that case someone can fix it.  

Right. My answer was to your "may or may not work"... I haven't had much
luck with -kB, and from what I read here, I'm not alone.

> The point I am replying to is a question about best practice - not a bug
> report. 
> Regardless of whether the admin command works correctly first time every
> time or whether it fails every second time - it should only be used
> after a backup and only by an admin.

No disagreement here.

> PartitionMagic is not Windows Explorer - you need to start a specific
> application to do the admin task - which is (IMHO) as it should be.
> WinCVS is used by "users" and therefore is a tool I would prefer does
> not use "admin" commands.

But since admin commands can only be run by admins, it doesn't really
matter. When a user tries to run it, the server says "no permission".

> The problems with processes are that they are morally agnostic.  Gerhard
> may have the moral wherewithal to know that deleting a revision of a
> binary file to save space is OK but deleting a revision of a C source
> file because it contained a bug caused by poor coding is NOT OK.  But
> the process cannot be subjective in this way.  And a "CM person"
> reviewing the tool capabilities/process will see that you are utiliising
> (or even encouraging) the subversion of good CM practices.

I disagree. I'm using tools to do repo admin work. That's all. I'm aware
that these are admin tasks, and that's why I am the repo admin. These tasks
are not in the process for normal users -- they don't have to know about
them, and they don't have access to them.

Of course there is a point to be made for a separate non-admin version of
WinCvs, but IMO this isn't really necessary. Whoever runs WinCvs against a
server will have it automatically: admin commands are not available.
Whoever runs it with :local: should be admin and know what he's doing.

> I am wondering aloud if perhaps due to an oversight that these things are
> "too easy" to use without the necessary forethought.  I suspect that
> "reversing" a change is actually more complex to understand than
> "deleting a revision" 

In my case, I don't care about reversing a change; what I want is delete a
revision. I agree with you that for reversing a change, admin is not the
right way. But for deleting revisions it is; and it's the only one. 

> and that :local: is a lot easier to setup (in WinCVS) than a server and
> client on the same PC.

FWIW, I never felt that :local: was attractive at all, and I started using
cvsnt for a one-person at-home repo. But even then I had two networked
computers... I think restricting :local: (to admins?) might be worth a
thought -- at least from what you're telling me. 

> I suspect the same rule should apply to software like CVSNT.

I may not understand you here. For me, the admin command is only available
to admins, and that's a good thing. Users just /can't/ take that route. I
don't see the problem with this. Making it more difficult to use makes it
usually also more error-prone to use. You don't want to put a lot of rocks
on the single emergency lane... kind of defeats the purpose.

> I mostly wanted to go on record at making it clear that the engineers
> consider the use of "admin" dangerous 

Well, yes, of course. Dangerous, but in some cases helpful. It seems you're
trying to convert the converted... I never said it wasn't dangerous. 

But a tool that makes it easier not to make any stupid mistakes (like the
WinCvs "select non significant" revisions) does help here. IMO this is much
safer than command line use of the admin command. 

> So in summary for the average commercial user purchasing a few terabytes
> of storage is cheaper than running admin commands every few weeks.

Statistic says that not everybody is the average commercial user -- there
are actually very few of them :)  But in general, I agree. We never had a
disagreement about this. But you were talking to me about my case, and I'm
not the average commercial user.


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