On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 08:27:59 -0700
PJ Weisberg <p...@irregularexpressions.net> wrote:

> git checkout foo.txt
> git checkout master
> The first one works like 'svn revert'; the second one works like 'svn
> switch'.  Hence, checkout works like switch "usually" (for certain
> values of "usually", dependent on your usage patterns).
> I haven't looked at Git's innards, but to me those look like two
> completely different commands that happen to be spelled exactly the
> same.  Not a good idea, generally.  It doesn't help that one usage is
> careful to not overwrite any of your modified files, and the other
> usage is specifically intended to overwrite your modified files.

Note that the full spec of this (file-level) invocation is

git checkout [-p|--patch] [<tree-ish>] [--] <pathspec>… 

which means it's able to update your work tree files with their
contents from the specified tree-ish, not just (implied by default)
HEAD.  Hence, "reverting" files is just a special application of this
more general form.

Also, the OP's question was more about "why the hell a thing like this
do exist *at all*?" or may be "why it did not ask me whether I really
meant to proceed?".  I'm inclined to blame the OP in this case: 1) I
doubt he had a branch named "." so supposedly he knew what that
invocation was about to perform; and playing in a production repo is
silly; especially so since creating a throw-away Git repo is so simple;
2) everyone knows asking "are you really sure?" is pointless as the
users quickly train themselves to fully automatically click OK/answer
"y" etc without even looking.

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