On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 12:37:55PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:

> Hi,
> whenever I think that I have finally understood how merging and rebasing
> in git works, something happens and I am confused as before.
> The git history (obtained with git log --graph --oneline --decorate
> --all) pasted below shows a git repository containing my ssh
> configuration, with a master branch that is shared between machines, and
> a local branch, fan, containing changes that are needed to use ssh on
> fan. Althouth both branches have diverged at the bottom of the history,
> the entire diff is tiny.
> 128 [4/4984]mh@fan:~ $ git diff master..fan | diffstat
>  head/00_dist_defaults |    1 +
>  mh/5_dist_swivel      |    2 +-
>  2 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)
> [5/4985]mh@fan:~ $ 
> But when I try to git rebase fan upon master, I get the same file that
> is even in the diff between msater and fan over and over again. I guess
> that git rebase goes back to commit 2357bcc where fan was branched off
> master and tries to reapply all changes one by one, most of which have
> been rolled back since then or have already been done in master. I have
> merged msater into fan multiple times in the hope that this would make
> rebasing possible again, but to no avail.

Isn't this the case covered by this bit from the git-merge(1) manual

| With the strategies that use 3-way merge (including the default, recursive),
| if a change is made on both branches, but later reverted on one of the
| branches, that change will be present in the merged result; some people
| find this behavior confusing. It occurs because only the heads and the merge
| base are considered when performing a merge, not the individual commits.
| The merge algorithm therefore considers the reverted change
| as no change at all, and substitutes the changed version instead.

I don't have a clear idea of how to deal with this properly.

One way would be to merge with --no-commit then manually fixing up the
results (by picking the correct contents for particular files using
`git checkout`) and then staging the changes and comitting.

You could also try exploring whether "ours" or "theirs" modifiers to the
merge strategy would do what yo're after, like with

  $ git merge -s recursive -X ours ...

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