Okay, I feel like I'm on the verge of understanding, but it keeps eluding me,
because you keep answering the question I actually asked, rather than the
one I should have asked... let me try again, and bear with me if it seems like 
repeating the same question over and over, because I don't understand which
"irrelevant" differences matter and which don't.
(You've been amazingly patient so far actually.  Thank you for that.)

(Incidentally, you've successfully convinced me that attributes are a far better
way to deal with this.  I still feel that the behavior should be documented 

Setup: Suppose there exists a repo where sample.txt has CRLF line endings.
Meanwhile, my git config has autocrlf as "input".  Now, I clone the repo.
I edit sample.txt, and then commit.  Assuming the repo has no .gitattributes,
is it possible to predict what line endings sample.txt will end up with in my 
Or does it depend on more information than what I've just written?

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