[p4] Changelists are Forever?

Jeff A. Bowles jab at pobox.com
Tue Nov 11 19:47:27 PST 2008

The rule-of-thumb I give in classes is, "a changelist is carved in stone.
You can't 'undo' a changelist, any more than you can undo the inscription on
the stone statue in the town square. The most you can do is, using the
analogy, chisel underneath the original legend, '(we meant ...this...)' in a
second operation -- the follow-up submission to correct a foolish check-in.
As a very happy result, you have many things you can rely on -- important
things:  you can always recreate from a label, you can rely on the Perforce
being able to reconstruct a workspace at any moment for 'diff' and 'sync'
operations, and so on."
The administrator has more choices -- updating the description, perhaps (on
some releases of the server) even the date or workspace name or the username
of the submitter.  (Some data import scripts exploit this, most gleefully.)

But there's a line you cannot cross without major voodoo.

   - You can't make the changelist "go away" entirely, if it had revisions
   checked-in with it. Those revisions are really important to the concept of
   change management, and you don't usually want to go this route.
   - But, if you gotta, you gotta. (Look up "obliterate", practice on your
   own toy workspace first,and then delete the change after obliterating the
   revisions. It's really an affront to basic source management practices, but
   when some twerp checks in his / her entire C: drive, you make allowances.)

  -Jeff Bowles

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Tony Sweeney <sweeney at addr.com> wrote:

> Steven Staton wrote:
> > Once submitted, isn't a change list permanent?  This seems to be the case
> based on my reading of Practical Perforce.  Is there no way to alter a
> submitted changelist (Note: I'm not asking how to reverse a changelist in a
> depot, but specifically if a changelist record itself can be altered after
> submission).
> >
> A changelist Description and Job information are mutable via the '-u' or
> '-f' flags.  The '-f' flag also allows for changelist deletion in
> prescribed circumstances.  See 'p4 help change' for details.
> Tony.
> > _______________________________________________
> > perforce-user mailing list  -  perforce-user at perforce.com
> > http://maillist.perforce.com/mailman/listinfo/perforce-user
> >
> >
> >
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Jeff Bowles - jeff.a.bowles at gmail.com

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