int close_ref(struct ref_lock *lock)
        if (close_lock_file(lock->lk))
                return -1;
        lock->lock_fd = -1;
        return 0;

When the close() fails, fd is still >= 0, even if the file is closed.

Could it be written like this ?

int close_ref(struct ref_lock *lock)
        return close_lock_file(lock->lk);
lockfile.c, line 49
 *   - filename holds the filename of the lockfile

I think we have a strbuf here? (which is a good thing),
should we write:
 *   - strbuf filename holds the filename of the lockfile
(and at some places filename[0] is mentioned,
should that be filename.buf[0] ?)

int commit_lock_file(struct lock_file *lk)
        static struct strbuf result_file = STRBUF_INIT;
        int err;

        if (lk->fd >= 0 && close_lock_file(lk))
                return -1;
##What happens if close() fails and close_lock_file() returns != 0?
##Is the lk now in a good shaped state?
I think the file which had been open by lk->fd is in an unkown state,
and should not be used for anything.
When I remember it right, an error on close() can mean "the file could not
be written and closed as expected, it can be truncated or corrupted.
This can happen on a network file system like NFS, or probably even other FS.
For me the failing of close() means I smell a need for a rollback.

        if (!lk->active)
                die("BUG: attempt to commit unlocked object");

        /* remove ".lock": */
        strbuf_add(&result_file, lk->filename.buf,
                   lk->filename.len - LOCK_SUFFIX_LEN);
        err = rename(lk->filename.buf, result_file.buf);
        if (err)
                return -1;
        lk->active = 0;
        return 0;

Please treat my comments more than questions rather than answers,
thanks for an interesting reading

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