From: "Junio C Hamano" <>
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 5:23 AM
Jeff King <> writes:

It may be (?) that it is a good time to think about a 'datedepth'
capability to bypass the current counted-depth shallow fetch that can
cause so much trouble. With a date limited depth the relevant tags
could also be fetched.

I don't have anything against such an idea, but I think it is orthogonal
to the issue being discussed here.


The biggest problem with the "shallow" hack is that the deepening
fetch counts from the tip of the refs at the time of deepening when
deepening the history (i.e. "clone --depth", followed by number of
"fetch", followed by "fetch --depth").  If you start from a shallow
clone of depth 1, repeated fetch to keep up while the history grew
by 100, you would still have a connected history down to the initial
cauterization point, and "fetch --depth=200" would give you a
history that is deeper than your original clone by 100 commits.  But
if you start from the same shallow clone of depth 1, did not do
anything while the history grew by 100, and then decide to fetch
again with "fetch --depth=20", it does not grow.  It just makes
20-commit deep history from the updated tip, and leave the commit
from your original clone dangling.

The problem with "depth" does not have anything to do with how it is
specified at the UI level.

That is, correct me if I'm wrong, the server currently lacks a capability to provide anything other than the counted depth shallow response (if available). Hence my comment about needing an additional server side capability, though that would need a well thought out set of use cases to make it useful.

The end-user input is used to find out
at what set of commits the history is cauterized, and once they are
computed, the "shallow" logic solely works on "is the history before
these cauterization points, or after, in topological terms." (and it
has to be that way to make sure we get reproducible results).  Even
if a new way to specify these cauterization points in terms of date
is introduced, it does not change anything and does not solve the
fundamental problem the code has when deepening.

fundamental problem = no server capability other than counted depth.

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