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From: Derrick Stolee <derrickstolee@github.com>
To: Jonathan Nieder <jrnieder@gmail.com>,
	Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget <gitgitgadget@gmail.com>
Cc: git@vger.kernel.org, Victoria Dye <vdye@github.com>,
	Derrick Stolee <stolee@gmail.com>,
	Lessley Dennington <lessleydennington@gmail.com>,
	Elijah Newren <newren@gmail.com>,
	Jonathan Tan <jonathantanmy@google.com>,
	jabolopes@google.com, Jeff Hostetler <jeffhostetler@github.com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 3/5] repo_read_index: clear SKIP_WORKTREE bit from files present in worktree
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2022 11:56:15 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <0979ce9b-d7be-9f84-0942-201626b488a4@github.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <YhBCsg2DCEd9FXjE@google.com>

On 2/18/2022 8:06 PM, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> (cc-ing Jonathan Tan, Jose Lopes, and Jeff Hostetler, vfs experts)
> Hi Elijah,
> 
> Elijah Newren wrote[1]:
> 
>> The fix is short (~30 lines), but the description is not.  Sorry.
>>
>> There is a set of problems caused by files in what I'll refer to as the
>> "present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE" state.  This commit aims to not just fix
>> these problems, but remove the entire class as a possibility -- for
>> those using sparse checkouts.  But first, we need to understand the
>> problems this class presents.  A quick outline:
>>
>>    * Problems
>>      * User facing issues
>>      * Problem space complexity
>>      * Maintenance and code correctness challenges
>>    * SKIP_WORKTREE expectations in Git
>>    * Suggested solution
>>    * Pros/Cons of suggested solution
>>    * Notes on testcase modifications
> 
> Thanks for a clear explanation!  This is very helpful.
> 
>> === User facing issues ===
>>
>> There are various ways for users to get files to be present in the
>> working copy despite having the SKIP_WORKTREE bit set for that file in
>> the index.  This may come from:
>>   * various git commands not really supporting the SKIP_WORKTREE bit[1,2]
>>   * users grabbing files from elsewhere and writing them to the worktree
>>     (perhaps even cached in their editor)
>>   * users attempting to "abort" a sparse-checkout operation with a
>>     not-so-early Ctrl+C (updating $GIT_DIR/info/sparse-checkout and the
>>     working tree is not atomic)[3].
>>
>> Once users have present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE files, any modifications
>> users make to these files will be ignored, possibly to users' confusion.
> [...]
>> The suggests a simple solution: present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE files
>> should not exist, for those using sparse-checkouts.
> 
> This patch just reached "next", so at $DAYJOB a test for our vfsd[2]
> noticed this change.  The trick behind a Git-based virtual filesystem
> is typically:
> 
> - since we control the filesystem, we can pretend all files are
>   already present.  On access, we obtain the file content from the git
>   object store.  On write, we update the sparse-checkout pattern so
>   that Git knows to start tracking the file.
> 
> - by keeping the sparse-checkout pattern narrow, we minimize the time
>   commands like "git status" need to spend looking for changes in
>   unmodified files.  Controlling the filesystem means we don't need to
>   worry about changes to files that don't match that pattern (since
>   any modification would also trigger a sparse-checkout pattern
>   update).
> 
> If I understand the intent behind this change correctly, it's
> incompatible with that trick.  How would you recommend handling that?
> In the not too far away future, I'd expect something like the "VFS
> projection hook" to handle this use case, but in the meantime, I would
> expect this change to break VFS for Git performance.  A few options:
> 
>  a. We could guard it with a config option.  It would still be a
>     regression for VFS for Git users, but they'd be able to use the
>     config option to restore the expected behavior.  (Or
>     alternatively, such a config option could be disabled by default,
>     but I suspect that would defeat the purpose described for the
>     patch.)
> 
>  b. We could distinguish between the vfsd and the "interrupted and
>     forgot to update SKIP_WORKTREE bits in the index" cases somehow.
>     This sounds complex.
> 
>  c. Something else?
> 
> (b) and (c) aren't sounding obviously good, so (a) seems tempting.
> What do you think?

Just chiming in here to say that we've dealt with these issues in
microsoft/git by special-casing them behind our core_virtualfilesystem
global. A recent example is the changes to 'git add' to prevent
adding a file that is marked as sparse (unless --sparse is specified).
We always allow this when in the virtualized scenario [1].

[1] https://github.com/microsoft/git/blob/2f6531aced2e77a6c1000a923967ae0105383930/builtin/add.c#L50-L54

This seems like something that should be on vfsd to handle, and should
not prevent upstream Git from making changes that benefit its users.

Thanks,
-Stolee

  parent reply	other threads:[~2022-02-20 16:57 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 30+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-01-13 16:43 [PATCH 0/5] Remove the present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE class of bugs (for sparse-checkouts) Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 16:43 ` [PATCH 1/5] t1011: add testcase demonstrating accidental loss of user modifications Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 16:43 ` [PATCH 2/5] unpack-trees: fix accidental loss of user changes Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 16:43 ` [PATCH 3/5] repo_read_index: clear SKIP_WORKTREE bit from files present in worktree Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 16:43 ` [PATCH 4/5] Update documentation related to sparsity and the skip-worktree bit Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 16:43 ` [PATCH 5/5] Accelerate clear_skip_worktree_from_present_files() by caching Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-13 23:35   ` Elijah Newren
2022-01-14 15:59 ` [PATCH v2 0/5] Remove the present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE class of bugs (for sparse-checkouts) Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-14 15:59   ` [PATCH v2 1/5] t1011: add testcase demonstrating accidental loss of user modifications Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-02-16  8:51     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2022-02-16 16:02       ` Elijah Newren
2022-01-14 15:59   ` [PATCH v2 2/5] unpack-trees: fix accidental loss of user changes Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-14 15:59   ` [PATCH v2 3/5] repo_read_index: clear SKIP_WORKTREE bit from files present in worktree Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-02-16  8:57     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2022-02-16 16:08       ` Elijah Newren
2022-02-19  1:06     ` Jonathan Nieder
2022-02-19 16:42       ` Elijah Newren
2022-02-19 18:14         ` Jonathan Nieder
2022-02-20  5:28           ` Elijah Newren
2022-02-20 16:56       ` Derrick Stolee [this message]
2022-02-22 23:17         ` Jonathan Nieder
2022-01-14 15:59   ` [PATCH v2 4/5] Update documentation related to sparsity and the skip-worktree bit Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-02-16  9:15     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2022-02-16 16:21       ` Elijah Newren
2022-01-14 15:59   ` [PATCH v2 5/5] Accelerate clear_skip_worktree_from_present_files() by caching Elijah Newren via GitGitGadget
2022-01-15  1:39     ` Victoria Dye
2022-02-16  9:32     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2022-02-16 16:30       ` Elijah Newren
2022-02-17  4:40         ` Elijah Newren
2022-01-15  1:51   ` [PATCH v2 0/5] Remove the present-despite-SKIP_WORKTREE class of bugs (for sparse-checkouts) Victoria Dye

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