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From: Christian Couder <>
To: Taylor Blau <>
Cc: Junio C Hamano <>,, John Cai <>,
	Jonathan Tan <>,
	Jonathan Nieder <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/3] Implement filtering repacks
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2022 10:00:52 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <Y1wyVpHprWGxEDi/@nand.local>

On Fri, Oct 28, 2022 at 9:49 PM Taylor Blau <> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 01:23:02PM +0200, Christian Couder wrote:
> > On Fri, Oct 14, 2022 at 6:46 PM Junio C Hamano <> wrote:
> > >
> > > Christian Couder <> writes:
> > >
> > > > For example one might want to clone with a filter to avoid too many
> > > > space to be taken by some large blobs, and one might realize after
> > > > some time that a number of the large blobs have still be downloaded
> > > > because some old branches referencing them were checked out. In this
> > > > case a filtering repack could remove some of those large blobs.
> > > >
> > > > Some of the comments on the patch series that John sent were related
> > > > to the possible data loss and repo corruption that a filtering repack
> > > > could cause. It's indeed true that it could be very dangerous, and we
> > > > agree that improvements were needed in this area.
> > >
> > > The wish is understandable, but I do not think this gives a good UI.
> > >
> > > This feature is, from an end-user's point of view, very similar to
> > > "git prune-packed", in that we prune data that is not necessary due
> > > to redundancy.  Nobody runs "prune-packed" directly; most people are
> > > even unaware of it being run on their behalf when they run "git gc".
> >
> > I am Ok with adding the --filter option to `git gc`, or a config
> > option with a similar effect. I wonder how `git gc` should implement
> > that option though.
> >
> > If we implement a new command called for example `git filter-packed`,
> > similar to `git prune-packed`, then this new command will call `git
> > pack-objects --filter=...`.
> Conceptually, yes, the two are similar. Though `prune-filtered` is
> necessarily going to differ in implementation from `prune-packed`, since
> we will have to write new pack(s), not just delete loose objects which
> appear in packs already.

Yeah, that's why I say `prune-filtered` will call `git pack-objects

> So it's really not just a matter of purely deleting redundant loose
> copies of objects like in the case of prune-packed. Here we really do
> care about potentially writing a new set of packs to satisfy the new
> filter constraint.

Yeah, I agree.

> Presumably that tool would implement creating the new packs according to
> the given --filter, and would similarly delete existing packs. That is
> basically what your implementation in repack already does, so I am not
> sure what the difference would be.

Indeed, there wouldn't be much difference implementation wise between
a new `git filter-packed` command like Junio suggested and the current
implementation I sent which implements the feature in `git repack`. (A
new `git filter-packed` would just duplicate the repack features that
are needed and just call `git pack-objects --filter=...`). That's why
I don't really see the point of a new `git filter-packed` command and
the version 2 I sent still implements the feature in `git repack`.

So I have a hard time understanding your comment unless you just agree with me.

> > Yeah. So to sum up, it looks like you are Ok with `git gc
> > --filter=...`  which is fine for me, even if I wonder if `git repack
> > --filter=...` could be a good first step as it is less likely to be
> > used automatically (so safer in a way) and it might be better for
> > implementation related performance reasons.
> If we don't intend to have `git repack --filter` part of our backwards
> compatibility guarantee, then I would prefer to see the implementation
> just live in git-gc from start to finish.

About the implementation living in `git gc` I wrote the following:

>>> `git gc` is already running `git repack` under the hood in a number of
>>> cases though. So running `git gc --filter=...` would in many cases
>>> call `git pack-objects` twice, as it would call it once through git
>>> repack and once through `git filter-packed`. Or am I missing something
>>> here?

Even if we don't have a `git filter-packed` command, if the feature is
implemented in `git gc` (but not in `git repack`) it would just call
`git pack-objects --filter=...` from there, which means that `git
pack-objects` would be called twice (once through `git repack` and
once for this new feature) by `git gc` in some cases, instead of just
once if the feature was implemented in `git repack` as `git gc` could
then just calls `git repack ... --filter=...` once.

That's why I think it's better for performance reasons if the feature
is implemented in `git repack`. If you don't want for some reason to
have `git repack --filter=...` part of our backwards compatibility
guarantee, then --filter can be a hidden and undocumented option in
`git repack`. Or maybe we could use a new env variable to instruct
`git repack` to pass some --filter option to `git pack-objects`, but
my opinion is that it's much simpler to just accept --filter to be a
regular, though dangerous, `git repack` option, and then add --filter
to `git gc`.

I am also Ok with adding --filter to `git gc` in this patch series and
have the doc say that it's better to use `git gc --filter` instead of
`git repack --filter` so that users could learn right away to use the
feature through `git gc` instead of through `git repack`.

  parent reply	other threads:[~2022-11-07  9:02 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 29+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-10-12 13:51 [PATCH 0/3] Implement filtering repacks Christian Couder
2022-10-12 13:51 ` [PATCH 1/3] pack-objects: allow --filter without --stdout Christian Couder
2022-10-12 13:51 ` [PATCH 2/3] repack: add --filter=<filter-spec> option Christian Couder
2022-10-12 13:51 ` [PATCH 3/3] repack: introduce --force to force filtering Christian Couder
2022-10-14 16:46 ` [PATCH 0/3] Implement filtering repacks Junio C Hamano
2022-10-20 11:23   ` Christian Couder
2022-10-28 19:49     ` Taylor Blau
2022-10-28 20:26       ` Junio C Hamano
2022-11-07  9:12         ` Christian Couder
2022-11-07  9:00       ` Christian Couder [this message]
2022-10-25 12:28 ` [PATCH v2 0/2] " Christian Couder
2022-10-25 12:28   ` [PATCH v2 1/2] pack-objects: allow --filter without --stdout Christian Couder
2022-10-25 12:28   ` [PATCH v2 2/2] repack: add --filter=<filter-spec> option Christian Couder
2022-10-28 19:54   ` [PATCH v2 0/2] Implement filtering repacks Taylor Blau
2022-11-07  9:29     ` Christian Couder
2022-11-22 17:51   ` [PATCH v3 " Christian Couder
2022-11-22 17:51     ` [PATCH v3 1/2] pack-objects: allow --filter without --stdout Christian Couder
2022-11-22 17:51     ` [PATCH v3 2/2] repack: add --filter=<filter-spec> option Christian Couder
2022-11-23  0:31     ` [PATCH v3 0/2] Implement filtering repacks Junio C Hamano
2022-12-21  3:53       ` Christian Couder
2022-11-23  0:35     ` Junio C Hamano
2022-12-21  4:04     ` [PATCH v4 0/3] " Christian Couder
2022-12-21  4:04       ` [PATCH v4 1/3] pack-objects: allow --filter without --stdout Christian Couder
2023-01-04 14:56         ` Patrick Steinhardt
2022-12-21  4:04       ` [PATCH v4 2/3] repack: add --filter=<filter-spec> option Christian Couder
2023-01-04 14:56         ` Patrick Steinhardt
2023-01-05  1:39           ` Junio C Hamano
2022-12-21  4:04       ` [PATCH v4 3/3] gc: add gc.repackFilter config option Christian Couder
2023-01-04 14:57         ` Patrick Steinhardt

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