Re*: git log --name-only improvement: show old file name in rename

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Nathan Faulkner <natedogith1@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

> The documentation for --name-only says "Show only names of changed
> files." I would interpret this to mean "output the names of all files
> that changed", not "output the names of all files that changed, unless
> git detected it as renamed".

Interesting observation, but we do show renamed files no?  Even when
there is no content changes?  A quick experiment tells me it does,
so "unless" is not quite correct.

    $ git diff --name-only -M HEAD
    $ git diff --name-status -M HEAD

I think that the source of the confusion is actually not renames or
copies but that the explanation does not say in which commit the
phrase "only names of changed files" applies to.

The answer to that question is: Show names of the changed paths in
the post-image tree, i.e. if comparing 'diff A B' (or when 'show B'
is comparing 'diff B^ B'), the names in tree B are shown.

But because that is not explicitly said, a reader can easily mislead
into thinking that we are showing the union of names of files in
both pre-image and post-image trees that were modified.

We'd need something like this, probably.

------- >8 ------------- >8 ------------- >8 -------
Subject: diff: document what --name-only shows

The "--name-only" option is about showing the name of each file in
the post-image tree that got changed and nothing else (like "was it
created?").  Unlike the "--name-status" option that tells how the
change happened (e.g., renamed with similarity), it does not give
anything else, like the name of the corresponding file in the old

Lack of the description of this fact has confused readers in the
past.  Even back when dda2d79a ([PATCH] Clean up diff option
descriptions., 2005-07-13) documented "--name-only", "git diff"
already supported the renames, so in a sense, from day one, this
should have been documented more clearly but it wasn't.

Belatedly clarify it.

Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <gitster@xxxxxxxxx>
 Documentation/diff-options.txt | 3 ++-
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git c/Documentation/diff-options.txt w/Documentation/diff-options.txt
index 0e9456957e..b9eaea32d9 100644
--- c/Documentation/diff-options.txt
+++ w/Documentation/diff-options.txt
@@ -329,7 +329,8 @@ explained for the configuration variable `core.quotePath` (see
-	Show only names of changed files. The file names are often encoded in UTF-8.
+	Show only the name in the before-tree of changed files.
+	The file names are often encoded in UTF-8.
 	For more information see the discussion about encoding in the linkgit:git-log[1]
 	manual page.

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