On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:45:15AM -0700, Jonathan Nieder wrote:

> Junio C Hamano wrote:
> >                implication of which is that the 'at least one slash'
> > rule was to expect things are 'refs/<anything>' so there will be at
> > least one.  Even back then, that <anything> alone had at least one
> > slash (e.g. heads/master), but the intention was *never* that we
> > would forbid <anything> that does not have a slash by feeding
> > <anything> part alone to check-ref-format, i.e. things like
> > "refs/stash" were designed to be allowed.
> Now I'm more confused.  Until 5f7b202a (2008-01-01), there was a
> comment
>               if (level < 2)
>                       return -2; /* at least of form "heads/blah" */
> and that behavior has been preserved since the beginning.
> Why do most old callers pass a string that doesn't start with refs/
> (e.g., see the callers in 03feddd6, 2005-10-13)?  Has the intent been
> to relax the requirement since then?

Yeah, this weird "do not allow refs/foo" behavior has continually
confused me. Coincidentally I just noticed a case today where
"pack-refs" treats "refs/foo" specially for no good reason:


After much head scratching over the years, I am of the opinion that
nobody every really _meant_ to prevent "refs/foo", and that code
comments like the one you quote above were an attempt to document
existing buggy behavior that was really trying to differentiate "HEAD"
from "refs/*". That's just my opinion, though. :) I'd be happy if all of
the special-treatment of "refs/foo" went away and check_refname_format
always got the full ref.

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