On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 10:36:44PM +0200, Jens Lehmann wrote:
> Except recording the branch name might raise expectations about what git
> will do with it. And as far as this patch goes, git won't do anything
> with it (yet).

As Phil pointed out, doing anything with this variable is ambiguous:

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 06:03:53PM -0400, Phil Hord wrote:
> Some projects now use the 'branch' config value to record the tracking
> branch for the submodule.  Some ascribe different meaning to the
> configuration if the value is given vs. undefined.  For example, see
> the Gerrit submodule-subscription mechanism.  This change will cause
> those workflows to behave differently than they do now.

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 10:36:44PM +0200, Jens Lehmann wrote:
> But I'd rather see a patch series properly implementing the always-tip
> mode Ævar mentions in f030c96d86 (and which is requested by some users),
> especially the interesting parts: What should git record as commit in
> that case and how are "git status" and "git diff" going to handle
> submodules which shall follow a specific branch. I assume "git submodule
> update" is the right point in time to fetch that branch again and check
> out a newer branch tip if necessary, but should that commit be added to
> the superproject for that submodule automagically or not? This patch
> falls short of this, as it does the easy part but not the interesting
> ones ;-)

I agree that I'm not working on always-tip.  I'm just making that
easier.  For people that aren't interested in always-tip submodules
(e.g. Gerrit folks), this patch is still useful.  It would certainly
be possible to build an always-tip implementation on top of
submodule.$name.branch (as Ævar's one-liner does), but that would be
another patch series.

Personally, I think truly updates should be made explicitly, with a
hand written commit message about why the updates are occuring.  I
also think that setting up and running auto-updates should be easy
one-liners, not long, complicated ones ;).

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