> From: Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen <tfn...@gmail.com>
> I get the same behavior here. However, when using the approach described 
> in http://git-scm.com/book/en/Git-Tools-Submodules - with *git submodule 
> add ...*, it works.
> Reading in the docs about what the init and update commands do, I was also 
> a bit suprised that it didn't work.. But reading further up, it says:
> "When adding a new submodule to the tree, the add subcommand is to be used. 
> However, when pulling a tree containing submodules, these will not be 
> checked out by
>        default; the init and update subcommands will maintain submodules 
> checked out and at appropriate revision in your working tree."

[Revised answer:]

I overlooked that text and only read the documentation for "init".

However, my error was enhanced by a subtle error in the documentation
of "init".  The text as it is written suggests that init's behavior is
driven by the contents of .submodules.  But in fact, its behavior is
driven by the existing gitlinks in the file tree, possibly limited by
the <path> arguments.  (Which is why "git submodule init" can't *add*
submodules; it only processes *existing* submodules.)  A more accurate
statement is:

--- man1        2013-04-26 12:02:16.752702146 -0400
+++ man3        2013-05-02 21:06:00.020353100 -0400
@@ -61,6 +61,8 @@
            to exist in the superproject. If <path> is not given, the
            "humanish" part of the source repository is used ("repo" for
            "/path/to/repo.git" and "foo" for "host.xz:foo/.git").
+           The <path> is used as the submodule's logical name in its
+           configuration entries.
            <repository> is the URL of the new submodule’s origin repository.
            This may be either an absolute URL, or (if it begins with ./ or
@@ -109,7 +111,9 @@
            too (and can also report changes to a submodule’s work tree).
-           Initialize the submodules, i.e. register each submodule name and
+           Initialize the submodules, i.e. register each submodule for which
+           there is a gitlink recorded (or the specific gitlinks specified by
+           <path> ...) by copying the name and
            url found in .gitmodules into .git/config. The key used in
            .git/config is submodule.$name.url. This command does not alter
            existing information in .git/config. You can then customize the
@@ -118,6 +122,10 @@
            submodule update --init without the explicit init step if you do
            not intend to customize any submodule locations.
+           (Because init only operates on existing gitlinks, it cannot
+           be used to create submodules, regardless of the contents of
+           .gitmodules.  Use the add subcommand to create submodules.)
            Update the registered submodules, i.e. clone missing submodules and
            checkout the commit specified in the index of the containing

I'll send that to the main Git list.


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