TIL – git aliases are case-insensitive

Today I learned that git aliases are case-insensitive – this behavior is documented in http://git-scm.com/docs/git-config#_configuration_file.

The configuration variables are used by both the Git plumbing and the porcelains. The variables are divided into sections, wherein the fully qualified variable name of the variable itself is the last dot-separated segment and the section name is everything before the last dot. The variable names are case-insensitive, allow only alphanumeric characters and -, and must start with an alphabetic character.

For quite a long time, I noticed a strange behavior in my local git environment (which uses a dotfile config https://github.com/tnguyen14/dotfiles/blob/master/home/.gitconfig). When a branch has not been merged, git would usually shows me a warning like this:

:; git branch -d my-feature-branch
error: The branch 'my-feature-branch' is not fully merged.
If you are sure you want to delete it, run 'git branch -D my-feature-branch'.

I find this behavior helpful, cautioning me against accidentally deleting branches and losing work. Because I do branch deletion often, I add then following config to ~/.gitconfig:

  bd = branch -d

However, I started noticing that when I do git bd my-branch, it would just delete the branch regardless of whether I have the branch changes merged or not. This went on for a while, and eventually it bothered me enough to look into while. I finally figured it out today. This is happening because I have another alias in gitconfig:

  bd = branch -d
  bD = branch -D

I suppose that when I was setting up aliases, I was trying to be clever and added a convenient alias for when I do want to force-delete the branch. As aliases are case-sensitive, the latter one (branch -D) wins and is always used whenever I type git bd.

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