On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 11:51:05AM -0800, Junio C Hamano wrote:
> John Keeping <j...@keeping.me.uk> writes:
> > There's already the arbitrary set of prefixes in
> > refs.c::prettify_refname() and refs.c::ref_rev_parse_rules().  I can see
> > how a user might think that since "git log refs/heads/name" is
> > equivalent to "git log master" then "git branch refs/heads/name" should
> > be equivalent to "git branch name".
> Not quite, I am afraid.  Branch names used for "git branch <name>"
> and "git checkout <name>" are like the Lvalue of an assignment, as
> opposed to extended SHA-1 expressions to express any commit
> (e.g. 'master^0', 'refs/heads/master', or 'master') that correspond
> to the Rvalues used in an expression.  Because "git checkout" can
> take a branch name or an arbitrary commit object name, there needs a
> way for the users to disambiguate.
> Saying that "git checkout refs/heads/name" must be equivalent to
> "git checkout name" is like arguing that assignment "value+0 = x"
> should be valid because "value+0" is a valid value.

That isn't my argument.  I agree that the "create" and "view" operations
are distinct.  The problem appears to be that not all users expect this
and it caused them confusion because they are able to create refs like

I don't think we should apply the mapping, but I also do not think that
using a set of known (but arbitrary) constraints to prevent the creation
of potentially confusing branch names is a particularly big leap from
applying a similar set of rules in prettify_ref() and dwim_ref().
Especially if there's an escape hatch via '--force' or 'git update-ref'
for those who know what they're doing.
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