Am 15.10.2012 10:50, schrieb Johan Herland:
> Basically, there is a "master" branch, and an "alias" symref to
> "master". When we naively try to delete the symref with "git branch -d
> alias", it ends up:
>   - NOT deleting the "alias" symref
>   - DELETING the "master" loose ref
>   - NOT deleting the "master" packed ref
> So, from the user perspective, "git branch -d alias" ends up resetting
> "master" (and "alias") back to the last time we happened to run "git
> gc". Needless to say, this is not quite what we had in mind...
> AFAICS, there may be three possible "acceptable" outcomes when we run
> "git branch -d alias" in the above scenario:
>   A. The symbolic ref is deleted. This is obviously what we expected...

Below is a patch to do that.

>   B. The command fails because "alias" is a symref. This would be
> understandable if we don't want to teach "branch -d" about symrefs.
> But then, the error message should ideally explain which command we
> should use to remove the symref.

Renaming of symrefs with branch -m is disallowed because it's more
complicated than it looks at first; this was discussed here:

I can't imagine why deletion should be prohibited as well, though.

>   C. The "master" ref (BOTH loose and packed versions of it) is
> deleted. This would be less helpful for us, but Git would at least be
> internally consistent (in that the symref would be resolved, and the
> command would become "git branch -d master").

Are there use cases for this behaviour?

While I don't use symrefs, I'd somehow expect them to behave like
symbolic links on Unix do, where rm removes a link, not its target.

But I wonder why most delete_ref() calls in the code actually don't use
the flag REF_NODEREF, thus deleting symref targets instead of the
symrefs themselves.  I may be missing something important here.

 builtin/branch.c  |  2 +-
 t/ | 10 ++++++++++
 2 files changed, 11 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/builtin/branch.c b/builtin/branch.c
index ffd2684..31af114 100644
--- a/builtin/branch.c
+++ b/builtin/branch.c
@@ -221,7 +221,7 @@ static int delete_branches(int argc, const char **argv, int 
force, int kinds,
-               if (delete_ref(name, sha1, 0)) {
+               if (delete_ref(name, sha1, REF_NODEREF)) {
                              ? _("Error deleting remote branch '%s'")
                              : _("Error deleting branch '%s'"),
diff --git a/t/ b/t/
index 79c8d01..4b73406 100755
--- a/t/
+++ b/t/
@@ -262,6 +262,16 @@ test_expect_success 'config information was renamed, too' \
        "test $(git config branch.s.dummy) = Hello &&
         test_must_fail git config branch.s/s/dummy"
+test_expect_success 'deleting a symref' '
+       git branch target &&
+       git symbolic-ref refs/heads/symlink refs/heads/target &&
+       git branch -d symlink &&
+       test_path_is_file .git/refs/heads/target &&
+       test_path_is_missing .git/refs/heads/symlink
 test_expect_success 'renaming a symref is not allowed' \
        git symbolic-ref refs/heads/master2 refs/heads/master &&

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