diff options
authorJunio C Hamano <>2015-10-16 18:27:42 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2015-10-16 22:27:52 (GMT)
commit33e8fc87407505c3a96792fc47189d57b97b34c3 (patch)
parent3c3d3f629a6176b401ebec455c5dd59ed1b5f910 (diff)
usage: do not insist that standard input must come from a file
The synopsys text and the usage string of subcommands that read list of things from the standard input are often shown like this: git gostak [--distim] < <list-of-doshes> This is problematic in a number of ways: * The way to use these commands is more often to feed them the output from another command, not feed them from a file. * Manual pages outside Git, commands that operate on the data read from the standard input, e.g "sort", "grep", "sed", etc., are not described with such a "< redirection-from-file" in their synopsys text. Our doing so introduces inconsistency. * We do not insist on where the output should go, by saying git gostak [--distim] < <list-of-doshes> > <output> * As it is our convention to enclose placeholders inside <braket>, the redirection operator followed by a placeholder filename becomes very hard to read, both in the documentation and in the help text. Let's clean them all up, after making sure that the documentation clearly describes the modes that take information from the standard input and what kind of things are expected on the input. [jc: stole example for fmt-merge-msg from Jonathan] Helped-by: Jonathan Nieder <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
25 files changed, 64 insertions, 41 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/git-cat-file.txt b/Documentation/git-cat-file.txt
index 3105fc0..eb3d694 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-cat-file.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-cat-file.txt
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@ SYNOPSIS
'git cat-file' (-t [--allow-unknown-type]| -s [--allow-unknown-type]| -e | -p | <type> | --textconv ) <object>
-'git cat-file' (--batch | --batch-check) [--follow-symlinks] < <list-of-objects>
+'git cat-file' (--batch | --batch-check) [--follow-symlinks]
diff --git a/Documentation/git-check-attr.txt b/Documentation/git-check-attr.txt
index 00e2aa2..aa3b2bf 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-check-attr.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-check-attr.txt
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@ SYNOPSIS
'git check-attr' [-a | --all | attr...] [--] pathname...
-'git check-attr' --stdin [-z] [-a | --all | attr...] < <list-of-paths>
+'git check-attr' --stdin [-z] [-a | --all | attr...]
@@ -28,7 +28,8 @@ OPTIONS
Consider `.gitattributes` in the index only, ignoring the working tree.
- Read file names from stdin instead of from the command-line.
+ Read pathnames from the standard input, one per line,
+ instead of from the command-line.
The output format is modified to be machine-parseable.
diff --git a/Documentation/git-check-ignore.txt b/Documentation/git-check-ignore.txt
index e35cd04..59531ab 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-check-ignore.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-check-ignore.txt
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@ SYNOPSIS
'git check-ignore' [options] pathname...
-'git check-ignore' [options] --stdin < <list-of-paths>
+'git check-ignore' [options] --stdin
@@ -35,7 +35,8 @@ OPTIONS
for each given pathname.
- Read file names from stdin instead of from the command-line.
+ Read pathnames from the standard input, one per line,
+ instead of from the command-line.
The output format is modified to be machine-parseable (see
diff --git a/Documentation/git-commit-tree.txt b/Documentation/git-commit-tree.txt
index a0b5457..48c33d7 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-commit-tree.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-commit-tree.txt
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ git-commit-tree - Create a new commit object
-'git commit-tree' <tree> [(-p <parent>)...] < changelog
+'git commit-tree' <tree> [(-p <parent>)...]
'git commit-tree' [(-p <parent>)...] [-S[<keyid>]] [(-m <message>)...]
[(-F <file>)...] <tree>
diff --git a/Documentation/git-fmt-merge-msg.txt b/Documentation/git-fmt-merge-msg.txt
index 55a9a4b..6526b17 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-fmt-merge-msg.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-fmt-merge-msg.txt
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ git-fmt-merge-msg - Produce a merge commit message
-'git fmt-merge-msg' [-m <message>] [--log[=<n>] | --no-log] <$GIT_DIR/FETCH_HEAD
+'git fmt-merge-msg' [-m <message>] [--log[=<n>] | --no-log]
'git fmt-merge-msg' [-m <message>] [--log[=<n>] | --no-log] -F <file>
@@ -57,6 +57,18 @@ merge.summary::
Synonym to `merge.log`; this is deprecated and will be removed in
the future.
+$ git fetch origin master
+$ git fmt-merge-msg --log <$GIT_DIR/FETCH_HEAD
+Print a log message describing a merge of the "master" branch from
+the "origin" remote.
diff --git a/Documentation/git-get-tar-commit-id.txt b/Documentation/git-get-tar-commit-id.txt
index 1e2a20d..ac44d85 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-get-tar-commit-id.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-get-tar-commit-id.txt
@@ -9,17 +9,19 @@ git-get-tar-commit-id - Extract commit ID from an archive created using git-arch
-'git get-tar-commit-id' < <tarfile>
+'git get-tar-commit-id'
-Acts as a filter, extracting the commit ID stored in archives created by
-'git archive'. It reads only the first 1024 bytes of input, thus its
-runtime is not influenced by the size of <tarfile> very much.
+Read a tar archive created by 'git archive' from the standard input
+and extract the commit ID stored in it. It reads only the first
+1024 bytes of input, thus its runtime is not influenced by the size
+of the tar archive very much.
If no commit ID is found, 'git get-tar-commit-id' quietly exists with a
-return code of 1. This can happen if <tarfile> had not been created
+return code of 1. This can happen if the archive had not been created
using 'git archive' or if the first parameter of 'git archive' had been
a tree ID instead of a commit ID or tag.
diff --git a/Documentation/git-hash-object.txt b/Documentation/git-hash-object.txt
index 0c75f3b..814e744 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-hash-object.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-hash-object.txt
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@ SYNOPSIS
'git hash-object' [-t <type>] [-w] [--path=<file>|--no-filters] [--stdin [--literally]] [--] <file>...
-'git hash-object' [-t <type>] [-w] --stdin-paths [--no-filters] < <list-of-paths>
+'git hash-object' [-t <type>] [-w] --stdin-paths [--no-filters]
@@ -35,7 +35,8 @@ OPTIONS
Read the object from standard input instead of from a file.
- Read file names from stdin instead of from the command-line.
+ Read file names from the standard input, one per line, instead
+ of from the command-line.
Hash object as it were located at the given path. The location of
diff --git a/Documentation/git-mktag.txt b/Documentation/git-mktag.txt
index 3ca158b..fa6a756 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-mktag.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-mktag.txt
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ git-mktag - Creates a tag object
-'git mktag' < signature_file
+'git mktag'
@@ -20,7 +20,8 @@ The output is the new tag's <object> identifier.
Tag Format
-A tag signature file has a very simple fixed format: four lines of
+A tag signature file, to be fed to this command's standard input,
+has a very simple fixed format: four lines of
object <sha1>
type <typename>
diff --git a/Documentation/git-patch-id.txt b/Documentation/git-patch-id.txt
index 31efc58..cf71fba 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-patch-id.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-patch-id.txt
@@ -8,10 +8,12 @@ git-patch-id - Compute unique ID for a patch
-'git patch-id' [--stable | --unstable] < <patch>
+'git patch-id' [--stable | --unstable]
+Read a patch from the standard input and compute the patch ID for it.
A "patch ID" is nothing but a sum of SHA-1 of the file diffs associated with a
patch, with whitespace and line numbers ignored. As such, it's "reasonably
stable", but at the same time also reasonably unique, i.e., two patches that
diff --git a/Documentation/git-show-index.txt b/Documentation/git-show-index.txt
index fbdc8ad..a8a9509 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-show-index.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-show-index.txt
@@ -9,13 +9,14 @@ git-show-index - Show packed archive index
-'git show-index' < idx-file
+'git show-index'
-Reads given idx file for packed Git archive created with
-'git pack-objects' command, and dumps its contents.
+Read the idx file for a Git packfile created with
+'git pack-objects' command from the standard input, and
+dump its contents.
The information it outputs is subset of what you can get from
'git verify-pack -v'; this command only shows the packfile
diff --git a/Documentation/git-show-ref.txt b/Documentation/git-show-ref.txt
index 2a6f89b..3a32451 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-show-ref.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-show-ref.txt
@@ -11,7 +11,7 @@ SYNOPSIS
'git show-ref' [-q|--quiet] [--verify] [--head] [-d|--dereference]
[-s|--hash[=<n>]] [--abbrev[=<n>]] [--tags]
[--heads] [--] [<pattern>...]
-'git show-ref' --exclude-existing[=<pattern>] < ref-list
+'git show-ref' --exclude-existing[=<pattern>]
@@ -23,8 +23,9 @@ particular ref exists.
By default, shows the tags, heads, and remote refs.
-The --exclude-existing form is a filter that does the inverse, it shows the
-refs from stdin that don't exist in the local repository.
+The --exclude-existing form is a filter that does the inverse. It reads
+refs from stdin, one ref per line, and shows those that don't exist in
+the local repository.
Use of this utility is encouraged in favor of directly accessing files under
the `.git` directory.
diff --git a/Documentation/git-stripspace.txt b/Documentation/git-stripspace.txt
index 60328d5..2438f76 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-stripspace.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-stripspace.txt
@@ -9,14 +9,15 @@ git-stripspace - Remove unnecessary whitespace
-'git stripspace' [-s | --strip-comments] < input
-'git stripspace' [-c | --comment-lines] < input
+'git stripspace' [-s | --strip-comments]
+'git stripspace' [-c | --comment-lines]
-Clean the input in the manner used by Git for text such as commit
-messages, notes, tags and branch descriptions.
+Read text, such as commit messages, notes, tags and branch
+descriptions, from the standard input and clean it in the manner
+used by Git.
With no arguments, this will:
diff --git a/Documentation/git-unpack-objects.txt b/Documentation/git-unpack-objects.txt
index 07d4329..3e887d1 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-unpack-objects.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-unpack-objects.txt
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ git-unpack-objects - Unpack objects from a packed archive
-'git unpack-objects' [-n] [-q] [-r] [--strict] < <packfile>
+'git unpack-objects' [-n] [-q] [-r] [--strict]
diff --git a/builtin/cat-file.c b/builtin/cat-file.c
index 07baad1..c0fd8db 100644
--- a/builtin/cat-file.c
+++ b/builtin/cat-file.c
@@ -426,7 +426,7 @@ static int batch_objects(struct batch_options *opt)
static const char * const cat_file_usage[] = {
N_("git cat-file (-t [--allow-unknown-type]|-s [--allow-unknown-type]|-e|-p|<type>|--textconv) <object>"),
- N_("git cat-file (--batch | --batch-check) [--follow-symlinks] < <list-of-objects>"),
+ N_("git cat-file (--batch | --batch-check) [--follow-symlinks]"),
diff --git a/builtin/check-attr.c b/builtin/check-attr.c
index 21d2bed..265c9ba 100644
--- a/builtin/check-attr.c
+++ b/builtin/check-attr.c
@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@ static int cached_attrs;
static int stdin_paths;
static const char * const check_attr_usage[] = {
N_("git check-attr [-a | --all | <attr>...] [--] <pathname>..."),
-N_("git check-attr --stdin [-z] [-a | --all | <attr>...] < <list-of-paths>"),
+N_("git check-attr --stdin [-z] [-a | --all | <attr>...]"),
diff --git a/builtin/check-ignore.c b/builtin/check-ignore.c
index dc8d97c..43f3617 100644
--- a/builtin/check-ignore.c
+++ b/builtin/check-ignore.c
@@ -8,7 +8,7 @@
static int quiet, verbose, stdin_paths, show_non_matching, no_index;
static const char * const check_ignore_usage[] = {
"git check-ignore [<options>] <pathname>...",
-"git check-ignore [<options>] --stdin < <list-of-paths>",
+"git check-ignore [<options>] --stdin",
diff --git a/builtin/commit-tree.c b/builtin/commit-tree.c
index 25aa2cd..8747c0f 100644
--- a/builtin/commit-tree.c
+++ b/builtin/commit-tree.c
@@ -10,7 +10,7 @@
#include "utf8.h"
#include "gpg-interface.h"
-static const char commit_tree_usage[] = "git commit-tree [(-p <sha1>)...] [-S[<keyid>]] [-m <message>] [-F <file>] <sha1> <changelog";
+static const char commit_tree_usage[] = "git commit-tree [(-p <sha1>)...] [-S[<keyid>]] [-m <message>] [-F <file>] <sha1>";
static const char *sign_commit;
diff --git a/builtin/get-tar-commit-id.c b/builtin/get-tar-commit-id.c
index 6f4147a..e21c541 100644
--- a/builtin/get-tar-commit-id.c
+++ b/builtin/get-tar-commit-id.c
@@ -8,7 +8,7 @@
#include "quote.h"
static const char builtin_get_tar_commit_id_usage[] =
-"git get-tar-commit-id < <tarfile>";
+"git get-tar-commit-id";
/* ustar header + extended global header content */
#define RECORDSIZE (512)
diff --git a/builtin/hash-object.c b/builtin/hash-object.c
index 07fef3c..43b098b 100644
--- a/builtin/hash-object.c
+++ b/builtin/hash-object.c
@@ -78,7 +78,7 @@ int cmd_hash_object(int argc, const char **argv, const char *prefix)
static const char * const hash_object_usage[] = {
N_("git hash-object [-t <type>] [-w] [--path=<file> | --no-filters] [--stdin] [--] <file>..."),
- N_("git hash-object --stdin-paths < <list-of-paths>"),
+ N_("git hash-object --stdin-paths"),
const char *type = blob_type;
diff --git a/builtin/mktag.c b/builtin/mktag.c
index 640ab64..031b750 100644
--- a/builtin/mktag.c
+++ b/builtin/mktag.c
@@ -154,7 +154,7 @@ int cmd_mktag(int argc, const char **argv, const char *prefix)
unsigned char result_sha1[20];
if (argc != 1)
- usage("git mktag < signaturefile");
+ usage("git mktag");
if (strbuf_read(&buf, 0, 4096) < 0) {
die_errno("could not read from stdin");
diff --git a/builtin/patch-id.c b/builtin/patch-id.c
index ba34dac..366ce5a 100644
--- a/builtin/patch-id.c
+++ b/builtin/patch-id.c
@@ -165,7 +165,7 @@ static void generate_id_list(int stable)
-static const char patch_id_usage[] = "git patch-id [--stable | --unstable] < patch";
+static const char patch_id_usage[] = "git patch-id [--stable | --unstable]";
static int git_patch_id_config(const char *var, const char *value, void *cb)
diff --git a/builtin/show-ref.c b/builtin/show-ref.c
index 131ef28..264c392 100644
--- a/builtin/show-ref.c
+++ b/builtin/show-ref.c
@@ -8,7 +8,7 @@
static const char * const show_ref_usage[] = {
N_("git show-ref [-q | --quiet] [--verify] [--head] [-d | --dereference] [-s | --hash[=<n>]] [--abbrev[=<n>]] [--tags] [--heads] [--] [<pattern>...]"),
- N_("git show-ref --exclude-existing[=<pattern>] < <ref-list>"),
+ N_("git show-ref --exclude-existing[=<pattern>]"),
diff --git a/builtin/stripspace.c b/builtin/stripspace.c
index 1259ed7..958567a 100644
--- a/builtin/stripspace.c
+++ b/builtin/stripspace.c
@@ -78,8 +78,8 @@ static void comment_lines(struct strbuf *buf)
static const char *usage_msg = "\n"
-" git stripspace [-s | --strip-comments] < input\n"
-" git stripspace [-c | --comment-lines] < input";
+" git stripspace [-s | --strip-comments]\n"
+" git stripspace [-c | --comment-lines]";
int cmd_stripspace(int argc, const char **argv, const char *prefix)
diff --git a/builtin/unpack-objects.c b/builtin/unpack-objects.c
index 7cc086f..7c3e79c 100644
--- a/builtin/unpack-objects.c
+++ b/builtin/unpack-objects.c
@@ -13,7 +13,7 @@
#include "fsck.h"
static int dry_run, quiet, recover, has_errors, strict;
-static const char unpack_usage[] = "git unpack-objects [-n] [-q] [-r] [--strict] < pack-file";
+static const char unpack_usage[] = "git unpack-objects [-n] [-q] [-r] [--strict]";
/* We always read in 4kB chunks. */
static unsigned char buffer[4096];
diff --git a/show-index.c b/show-index.c
index 5a9eed7..d9e4903 100644
--- a/show-index.c
+++ b/show-index.c
@@ -2,7 +2,7 @@
#include "pack.h"
static const char show_index_usage[] =
-"git show-index < <packed archive index>";
+"git show-index";
int main(int argc, char **argv)