On Friday, August 16, 2013 6:04:29 PM UTC+2, Dale Worley wrote:
> Using Git (126.96.36.199), it appears that if I run "git diff" in a
> directory that is not part of a Git working copy, it produces this
> error message:
> $ git diff
> usage: git diff [--no-index] <path> <path>
> 1) This message doesn't tell the user what went wrong. (Indeed,
> invoking "git diff" with no arguments is valid in a working copy.)
> 2) The usage message is incorrect, in that the manual page lists four
> fundamental invocation formats:
> git diff [options] [<commit>] [--] [<path>...]
> git diff [options] --cached [<commit>] [--] [<path>...]
> git diff [options] <commit> <commit> [--] [<path>...]
> git diff [options] [--no-index] [--] <path> <path>
> Am I correct here?
Well, I wouldn't say it's wrong. Given that there is no Git repository, and
hence no index, it assumes that it's running in --no-index mode, that is,
the 4th format. Quoting the docs:
"If exactly two paths are given and at least one points outside the current
repository, git diff will compare the two files/directories. This behavior
can be forced by --no-index."
Perhaps this could have been stated in the docs. I find them a bit hard to
read too, as with any git command that can work in many different ways. I
am sure the git-devs would appreciate some concrete ideas for how the docs
and error messages can be changed. Here's how to get in touch with them if
you feel up to it: https://gist.github.com/tfnico/4441562
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