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Re: [PATCH 1/3] setup: drop return value from `read_repository_format()`

On Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 03:45:55AM +0000, brian m. carlson wrote:

> > > I will point out that with the SHA-256 work, reading the config file
> > > becomes essential for SHA-256 repositories, because we need to know the
> > > object format. Removing the config file leads to things blowing up in a
> > > bad way (what specific bad way I don't remember).
> > > 
> > > That may influence the direction we want to take in this work, or not.
> > 
> > Wouldn't we just treat that the same way we do now? I.e., assume the
> > default of sha1, just like we assume repositoryformatversion==0?
> Yeah, we'll default to SHA-1, but the repository will be broken. HEAD
> can't be read. Trying to run git status dies with "fatal: Unknown index
> entry format". And so on. We've written data with 64-character object
> IDs, which can't be read by Git in SHA-1 mode.

Oh, I see. Yes, if you have a SHA-256 repository and you don't tell
anybody (via a config entry), then everything will fail to work. That
seems like a perfectly reasonable outcome to me.

> My point is essentially that in an SHA-256 repository, the config file
> isn't optional anymore. We probably need to consider that and error out
> in more situations (e.g. unreadable file or I/O error) instead of
> silently falling back to the defaults, since failing loudly in a visible
> way is better than having the user try to figure out why the index is
> suddenly "corrupt".

Yes, I agree that ideally we'd produce a better error message. I'd just
be wary of breaking compatibility for the existing cases by making new
requirements when we don't yet suspect the repo is SHA-256.

When we see such a corruption, would it be possible to poke at the data
as if it were the old SHA-1 format, and if _that_ looks sane, suggest to
the user what the problem might be? That would help a number of cases
beyond this one (i.e., you're missing config, you have config but it has
the wrong repo format, you're missing the correct extensions field,