The construct is error-prone; "test" being built-in in most modern
shells, the reason to avoid "test <cond> && test <cond>" spawning
one extra process by using a single "test <cond> -a <cond>" no
longer exists.

Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
Signed-off-by: Elia Pinto <>
 Documentation/CodingGuidelines |   12 ++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 12 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/CodingGuidelines b/Documentation/CodingGuidelines
index f424dbd..2d426bc 100644
--- a/Documentation/CodingGuidelines
+++ b/Documentation/CodingGuidelines
@@ -106,6 +106,18 @@ For shell scripts specifically (not exhaustive):
    interface translatable. See "Marking strings for translation" in
+ - We do not write our "test" command with "-a" and "-o" and use "&&"
+   or "||" to concatenate multiple "test" commands instead, because
+   the use of "-a/-o" is often error-prone.  E.g.
+     test -n "$x" -a "$a" = "$b"
+   is buggy and breaks when $x is "=", but
+     test -n "$x" && test "$a" = "$b"
+   does not have such a problem.
 For C programs:
  - We use tabs to indent, and interpret tabs as taking up to

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