On Fri, Sep 02, 2016 at 07:03:30PM -0700, Shawn Pearce wrote:

> > Is it useful for upload-pack? If we have no refs, there's traditionally
> > been nothing to fetch. Perhaps that's something that could change,
> > though. For example, there could be a capability to allow fetching
> > arbitrary sha1s (we have allowTIPSH1InWant and allowReachableSHA1InWant,
> > which obviously both require some refs, but allowArbitrarySHA1 does not
> > seem outside the realm of possibility).
> Its exactly these sort of extra capabilities. We run JGit in modes
> where "out of band" (e.g. URL or higher level protocol framing like an
> undocumented HTTP header) allows the fetch-pack client to say "do not
> send me advertisements, but I want to learn your capabilities". The
> fetch-pack client typically activates the allow-reachable-sha1-in-want
> feature and names specific SHA-1s it wants.

So it sounds like you _could_ enable this only in out-of-band mode,
without loss of functionality.

I don't particularly care either way (I do not run any JGit servers
myself), but if we do it in Git, I think that is the path we should go
for maximum compatibility (and then if we jump to protocol v2, we get to
shed all of the compatibility cruft).

> This allows the fetch-pack client to bypass a very large advertisement
> if it wants only a specific SHA-1 and doesn't care about the ref name
> its bound to, or reachable through.

Yep, definitely a useful thing.

> This is also perhaps a stepping stone towards "client speaks first".
> If we can later standardize an HTTP query parameter or extra HTTP
> header, the server may be able to avoid sending a lot of ref
> advertisements, but would still need to advertise capabilities.

Yes, but that is a big enough jump that we can design it to look like
whatever we want, not shoe-horning it into a pretend ref. Older clients
will be left behind either way, we will need a transition plan, etc.


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