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From: Kaartic Sivaraam <>
To: Junio C Hamano <>
Cc: Git mailing list <>
Subject: [PATCH v5 1/1] Doc/check-ref-format: clarify information about @{-N} syntax
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:43:49 +0530	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

When the N-th previous thing checked out syntax (@{-N}) is used
with '--branch' option of check-ref-format the result may not be
the name of a branch that currently exists or ever existed. This
is because @{-N} is used to refer to the N-th last checked out
"thing", which might be a commit object name if the previous check
out was a detached HEAD state; or a branch name, otherwise. The
documentation thus does a wrong thing by promoting it as the
"previous branch syntax".

State that @{-N} is the syntax for specifying "N-th last thing
checked out" and also state that the result of using @{-N} might
also result in an commit object name.

Signed-off-by: Kaartic Sivaraam <>
 Documentation/git-check-ref-format.txt | 19 ++++++++++++-------
 1 file changed, 12 insertions(+), 7 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/git-check-ref-format.txt b/Documentation/git-check-ref-format.txt
index cf0a0b7df..d9de99258 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-check-ref-format.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-check-ref-format.txt
@@ -79,16 +79,21 @@ reference name expressions (see linkgit:gitrevisions[7]):
 With the `--branch` option, the command takes a name and checks if
 it can be used as a valid branch name (e.g. when creating a new
-branch).  The rule `git check-ref-format --branch $name` implements
+branch). But be cautious when using the
+previous checkout syntax that may refer to a detached HEAD state.
+The rule `git check-ref-format --branch $name` implements
 may be stricter than what `git check-ref-format refs/heads/$name`
 says (e.g. a dash may appear at the beginning of a ref component,
 but it is explicitly forbidden at the beginning of a branch name).
 When run with `--branch` option in a repository, the input is first
-expanded for the ``previous branch syntax''
-`@{-n}`.  For example, `@{-1}` is a way to refer the last branch you
-were on.  This option should be used by porcelains to accept this
-syntax anywhere a branch name is expected, so they can act as if you
-typed the branch name.
+expanded for the ``previous checkout syntax''
+`@{-n}`.  For example, `@{-1}` is a way to refer the last thing that
+was checked out using "git checkout" operation. This option should be
+used by porcelains to accept this syntax anywhere a branch name is
+expected, so they can act as if you typed the branch name. As an
+exception note that, the ``previous checkout operation'' might result
+in a commit object name when the N-th last thing checked out was not
+a branch.
@@ -116,7 +121,7 @@ OPTIONS
-* Print the name of the previous branch:
+* Print the name of the previous thing checked out:
 $ git check-ref-format --branch @{-1}

  reply	other threads:[~2017-12-16  8:14 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 20+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-11-19 17:54 [PATCH] docs: checking out using @{-N} can lead to detached state Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-11-20  2:09 ` Junio C Hamano
2017-11-20 15:18   ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-11-27 17:28   ` [PATCH v2 1/2] Doc/checkout: " Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-11-27 17:28     ` [PATCH v2 2/2] Doc/check-ref-format: clarify information about @{-N} syntax Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-11-28  2:40       ` Junio C Hamano
2017-11-28 14:43         ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-03  1:52           ` Junio C Hamano
2017-12-04 17:25             ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-04 18:44               ` Junio C Hamano
2017-12-05  5:20                 ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-11-28 16:34         ` [PATCH v3 " Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-03  2:08           ` Junio C Hamano
2017-12-06 17:58             ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-14 12:30             ` [PATCH v4 " Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-14 18:02               ` Junio C Hamano
2017-12-16  5:38                 ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-16  8:13                 ` [PATCH v5 0/1] clarify about @{-N} syntax in check-ref-format documentation Kaartic Sivaraam
2017-12-16  8:13                   ` Kaartic Sivaraam [this message]
2017-11-28  2:33     ` [PATCH v2 1/2] Doc/checkout: checking out using @{-N} can lead to detached state Junio C Hamano

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