On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 02:00:19PM -0700, Junio C Hamano wrote:

> >> Liberal use of atexit() for something like this makes me cringe
> >> somewhat.
> >
> > I don't like it either, but there's not really a better way. The die()
> > that Ramana triggered in the initial report is deep inside the ident
> > code. The only other option would be to hook into die_routine, which I
> > think is even uglier.
> Then I would rather not worry about it.  A documentation update is
> probably a good first step, though.

I'm OK with dropping this one; the likely cause is ident problems, and
the previous patch already helped with that (the next likely is probably
commit hooks failing, but that is just a guess).

Here's a documentation patch.

-- >8 --
Subject: [PATCH] commit: document the temporary commit message file

We do not document COMMIT_EDITMSG at all, but users may want
to know about it for two reasons:

  1. They may want to tell their editor to configure itself
     for formatting a commit message.

  2. If a commit is aborted by an error, the user may want
     to recover the commit message they typed.

Let's put a note in git-commit(1).
 Documentation/git-commit.txt | 9 +++++++++
 1 file changed, 9 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/git-commit.txt b/Documentation/git-commit.txt
index f400835..87297dc 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-commit.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-commit.txt
@@ -407,6 +407,15 @@ This command can run `commit-msg`, `prepare-commit-msg`, 
 and `post-commit` hooks.  See linkgit:githooks[5] for more
+       This file contains the commit message of a commit in progress.
+       If `git-commit` exits due to an error before creating a commit,
+       any commit message that has been provided by the user (e.g., in
+       an editor session) will be available in this file, but will be
+       overwritten by the next invocation of `git-commit`.
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