A nested repository is allowed to be sparse, that means it has components that are not present. Each of the missing component is identified by a rootkey/deltakey pair for that component.

Populate needs to know where to find any components that are missing from the current repository. Those components can come from any product that has that component with the deltakey we need.

We want to maintain a minimal list of nested URLs that we can search to find all the missing components in this repository. This is similar to the parent list, but is separate and may be totally different. Note the URLs in this list are product-level URLs.

To verify this list, perhaps as part of a full repository check, we send the list of missing rootkey/deltakey pairs to each of these URLs and get back a list of which keys are present from each one. All missing repos should be found or we have a problem. And if any URLs are redundant then they can be removed from the list. URLs that satisfy the least number of components should be removed first. Probably each URL should be annotated with which components can be fetched from there. This would save time in populate.

This list is maintained as follows:

  • clone The initial list is copied from the list maintained in the source repository. The URL cloned may need to be added to that list if all of the components present in the source are not included in the clone.

  • populate (Populate will be changed to use this list by default, and not the pull parents.) If populate is given an optional URL to fetch components then that URL is added to the list if the populate succeeds.

  • pull If a pull updates the tip key of a component that is not present in the local repository then we need to re-verify that our list is still accurate. The pull URL or items from the pull source’s list may need to be added to local list to be able to find that new tipkey.

  • push If a push moves a local only cset out into the world, then that url needs to be remembered as having a copy.

  • unpopulate An unpopulate potentionally adds a new entry to the list for where to find the component we are removing. We can’t allow an unpopulate if we can’t verify that the data being removed exists somewhere else. This potentially changes the unpopulate command line to add that URL so that the command can be allowed.

       $ bk unpopulate -s./src/win32/msys
       unpopulate: unable to find rev 1.343 of src/win32/msys in other
                   source repos, aborting...
       $ bk unpopulate -@bk://work/rick/bk-msysfix -s./src/win32/msys
       removing modules src/win32/msys
  • commit A component commit makes a new deltakey in that components and so deletes all URLs remembered for that component. See push for restoring URLs when the cset propagates.


In some cases the list of URLs for a repository will not be accessible from another machine after that repo is cloned. We solve this by having some generic mechanism for bkd connections to be proxied via another bkd. So after a clone if all the missing components cannot be found and we had some URLs which were inaccessible, we try retry those URLs by proxying the URL for the clone. These proxied connections are less desirable so the code should try to replace them with direct connections as they are found.


  • Unlike BAM, we won’t know if a repository is being depended on to satisfy missing components in another repository. So things can be broken when whole repos are deleted. In theory an unpopulate is OK because we can still redirect incoming requests to a place were he component can be found.

  • Normally the user shouldn’t need to see or maintain this list of URLs, but perhaps there should be some utility function like bk parent to change the list.

  • Deleting URLs from a list can be a problem as machines can change networks as well as csets can move around behind the scenes so checking a repo which didn’t have it can then reveal it.


clone - bkd side puts URLLIST and HERE file into the sfio, and sends @PRODUCT@ back if the clone source is a product. Note: the client side moves the HERE file because it doesn’t have that HERE file as its HERE file. It passes that on to components to populate. Removed - the -s option to send and validate the components/alias list. This is how HERE was implemented in the past.

pull - optionally send a @URLLIST@ and contents of file, if that file exists.