Junio C Hamano <gits...@pobox.com> writes:

> Ramkumar Ramachandra <artag...@gmail.com> writes:
>> Junio C Hamano wrote:
>>> Did you know that the general way to spell the branch previously you
>>> were on is "@{-1}" and "checkout -" is an ugly special case that is
>>> possible only because "checkout" does not happen to take a "-" as a
>>> valid argument that means something else (like the more usual "read
>>> from standard input")?
>> I disagree that it is ugly: it's a very commonly used shortcut that I
>> like.
> It does not matter if you like it or not ;-).
> I do agree that "checkout -" is 100% more pleasing to the eye than
> "checkout @{-1}" from visual "prettyness" point of view.
> But there is a very commonly accepted long tradition for "-" to mean
> "read from the standard input", so we cannot reuse it to mean "the
> branch I was previously on" for every command without first making
> sure the command will never want to use "-" for the other common
> purpose.
> That limits the context we could use "-" and we cannot consistently
> use it everywhere. I find _that_ ugly from the "design cleanliness"
> point of view.

Having said all that.

d18ba221 (sha1_name: support @{-N} syntax in get_sha1(), 2009-01-17)
was primarily for the follow-up patch 696acf45 (checkout: implement
"-" abbreviation, add docs and tests, 2009-01-17).  Two years after
them, we finally did 4e8115ff (merge: allow "-" as a short-hand for
"previous branch", 2011-04-07).

There is no reason we cannot continue.

As long as the addition is carefully prepared so that we know it
will not conflict (or be confused by users) with possible other uses
of "-", I do not think we would mind "git branch -D -" and other
commands to learn "-" as a synonym for @{-1}.
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