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SubjectRe: linux-next: unnecessary merge in the v4l-dvb tree
Linus Torvalds <> writes:

> On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM, Stephen Rothwell <> wrote:
> The problem, of course, is that since git is distributed, git doesn't
> know who is "upstream" and who is "downstream", so there's no
> _technical_ difference between merging a development tree, and a
> development tree doing a back-merge of the upstream tree.
> Maybe it was a mistake to make signed tag merges non-fast-forward,
> since they cause these kinds of issues with people who use "pull" to
> update their otherwise unmodified trees.
> I can always teach myself to just use --no-ff, since I end up doing
> things like verifying at the signatures anyway.
> Junio, comments?

I have a slight suspicion that allowing 'pull' to fast-forward even
when merging a signed tag when it is pulling from a configured
default remote for the branch the user is on, and otherwise keeping
the current behaviour, would make majority of people from both camps
happier, but I also have a strong conviction that it is being too
clever and making it hard to explain to people to do such a dwim
that tries to guess which way is 'upstream'.

Another clue we _might_ be able to take advantage of is that when
upstream maintainers merge a signed tag, we do *not* fetch and store
the tag from downstream contributers in our local repository (it is
likely that we have --no-tags in remote.<name>.tagopt), but when
downstream contributers sync from us with "git pull", they do fetch
and store our tags in their local repository.

So "git pull $somewhere $tag" that defaults to "--ff" when the tag
gets stored somewhere in refs/ (or more explicitly, in refs/tags/)
and defaults to "--no-ff" otherwise (i.e. the tag is fetched only to
be recorded in the resulting merge, without ever stored in any of
our refs), might be a good balance.

And it is easy to explain: "We realize that it was a mistake to
unconditionally default to --no-ff and we are reverting the default
to --ff, but with a twist. When we tell 'pull' to grab a tag, if
we do not store it anywhere in our local ref space, that would mean
the tag is totally lost if the pull fast-forwards. That is why we
still use --no-ff in such a case."

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