Am 2013-01-25 19:07, schrieb Junio C Hamano:
Carsten Fuchs <> writes:
$ git merge origin/master --ff-only
Updating f419d57..2da6052
error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by merge:
Compare with what Subversion did in an analogous case: When I ran "svn
update" and the update brought new files for which there already was
an untracked copy in the working directory, Subversion:
     - started to consider the file as tracked,
     - but left the file in the working-copy alone.

As a result, a subsequent "svn status" might
     a) no longer show the file at all, if the foreign copy in the
working directory happened to be the same as the one brought by the
"svn update", or
     b) flag the file as modified, if different from the one that "svn
update" would have created in its place.

Interesting.  So before running "status", the merge is recorded (in this
particular case you are doing ff-only so there is nothing new to
record, but if the rest of the tree merges cleanly, the new tree
that contains "obsolete" from the other branch you just merged will
be the contents you record in the merge commit), and working tree is
immediately dirty?

Yes. But I don't think it's the (svn) "status" command that does anything 

In Git, if I understand it correctly, the final step of a "merge", "checkout", "reset", etc. is a move of the HEAD to the resulting or specified commit. I imagine that it is here where the diff of the dirty working tree is re-applied to the newly checked out commit (and if this is not possible cleanly, probably [a] the whole operation must abort, or [b] leave files in the working tree with conflict markers), and where a decision must be made about "obstructing paths" (svn lingo): [c] abort the whole operation, or [d] "version" them (but don't modify them in any way).

I'm not sure if Subversion does [a] and [c] ("abort") without the --force option, and [b] and [d] with --force, or any other combination, but at least TortoiseSVN seems to use [d] by default (which seems safe enough).

Despite a thorough search, I've not been able to find much reference about this 

However, as the blog article mentions, I too have found this treatment of obstructing paths very natural and helpful in several occasions.

(Because without it, we must manually rename the obstructing paths, re-start the previously aborted operation, and then take diffs or somehow else compare the renamed obstructing and newly added paths manually, and possible merge them manually; or at least copy the renamed edition over the newly added edition to get back into Git for the job.)

So my real question is, why does Git not do something analogous?

The answer to that question is "because nobody thought that doing so
would help users very much and bothered to implement it"; it is not
"people thought about doing so and found reasons why that would not
help users".

Thanks, it's very good to hear this!

Best regards,
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