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git MUST notify user when files will be deleted or overwritten by command




Hi,

As a relatively novice user of git, there have been far too many times
that I have lost data, sometimes quite a lot.  So this proposal is about
catering for the less experienced users and averting fits of anger and
frustration.  The only reason my computer still works is because my
sub-conscious mind stops me from smashing it or throwing it against a
wall.  It seems my sub-conscious mind has a pragmatic view of the world
and understands that whilst I may receive instantaneous satisfaction at
the time, in the long term, the pain will be far worse, and thus
prevents me from doing something rash.


Below is the detail of my proposal:

Whenever a command is issued in git that will cause git to overwrite or
delete *ANY* files whose current state isn't already recorded in the
repository, git should prompt the user to confirm the operation. This
includes untracked files as well as files that are in the 'not staged'
and 'staged' lists.

To make the consequences of the command transparent, the confirmation
should include a list of files that will be affected (perhaps in a
similar way to how git status works).  The scope of the files listed
must match the scope of the command to be executed.  No hidden changes,
no side-effects.

Saying no to the confirmation should abort the command.

It may be useful to allow confirmation of individual files, but as a
novice user, I can't argue this point objectively, nor reason about its
implications and complexity.

This feature should be enabled by default whenever a clone or init
operation are performed.

The user should be able to progressively reduce the range of commands
and amount of confirmation interactions that take place.  The
configuration technique could follow the already established procedure
for other configurable data in git.  So this could be done globally for
the user, or locally within each repository.


As a novice user, there may be further useful extensions of this idea,
about which I'm unable to reason.  So I welcome further elaboration of
the idea discussed above.


Best regards,
Dimitri.