Philip Oakley wrote:

> Describe rebase in the description section.

It already does that. :)  I think you mean "start with a summary",
which is a valuable improvement.

> Include a softer paraphrased version from the crytic, well-loved,
> but sometimes parodied, Name description, and tell users that merge
> commits are excluded by default.

I don't really follow this paragraph.  Are you saying "The NAME line
is cryptic, but let's copy it anyway, since it is better than nothing"?

> --- a/Documentation/git-rebase.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/git-rebase.txt
> @@ -16,6 +16,10 @@ SYNOPSIS
>  -----------
> +'git rebase' will transfer local commits, excluding merge commits
> +by default, to the head of the branch's upstream, or onto a new base
> +if given.
> +

Not about this patch, but some day it would be nice to standardize on
one tense for the DESCRIPTION sections of manpages.  Some git commands
use the imperative ("Reply local commits, excluding merge commits, on
top of ..."), some use the present indicative ("Replays local commits,
excluding merge commits, ..."), and some use the future ("Will replay
local commits, excluding merge commits, ...").

The traditional tense for Unix manpages is the present indicative.
But you are right to match the rest of the description here.

>  If <branch> is specified, 'git rebase' will perform an automatic
>  `git checkout <branch>` before doing anything else.  Otherwise
>  it remains on the current branch.

The description has become very long by now.  I wonder if it's
possible to break it into chunks, like so?

        <brief description of the purpose of the command, including some token
        mention of *why* a user would want to use it (e.g., "so that the patches
        apply cleanly to their new base").>

        It proceeds using the following steps:

         1. If <branch> is specified, ...
         2. Decides which commits will need to be applied.
            These are plain, non-merge commits that are ancestors of HEAD but
            not of <upstream>.
         3. Checks out <upstream>.  (<Explanation that technically it
            detaches HEAD at this step.>)
         4. Reapplies the commits listed on step (2), one by one, in order.
            If merge failures are encountered, the program will exit and allow
            the user to resolve them and resume or cancel the rebase.  See
            the RESPONDING TO MERGE CONFLICTS section below for details.
         5. Once all of the commits from step (2) have been applied, updates
            <branch> to point to the new HEAD.

        The result is an updated <branch> that ...


        Assume the following history exists and the current branch is "topic":

Description of specific options like "--preserve-merges" and "--onto"
could move out of the DESCRIPTION section and to the OPTIONS section.

What do you think?

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