cmd_add() attempts to check for the validity of refspec for the repository
it is about to add as a subtree. It tries to do so before contacting the
repository. If the refspec happens to exist locally (say 'master') then
the test passes and the repo is fetched. If the refspec doesn't exist
locally then the test fails and the remote repo is never contacted.

Removing the tests still works as the git fetch command fails with the
perfectly accurate error:

  fatal: Couldn't find remote ref <refspec>

Signed-off-by: Paul Campbell <>

I must confess to not understanding the comment preceding the
rev-parse test. Given that it is against the rev-parse and not the
cmd_add_repository call I'm assuming it can be removed.

 contrib/subtree/ | 8 --------
 1 file changed, 8 deletions(-)

diff --git a/contrib/subtree/ b/contrib/subtree/
index 8a23f58..9a38b18 100755
--- a/contrib/subtree/
+++ b/contrib/subtree/
@@ -503,14 +503,6 @@ cmd_add()

            "cmd_add_commit" "$@"
        elif [ $# -eq 2 ]; then
-           # Technically we could accept a refspec here but we're
-           # just going to turn around and add FETCH_HEAD under the
-           # specified directory.  Allowing a refspec might be
-           # misleading because we won't do anything with any other
-           # branches fetched via the refspec.
-           git rev-parse -q --verify "$2^{commit}" >/dev/null ||
-           die "'$2' does not refer to a commit"
            "cmd_add_repository" "$@"
            say "error: parameters were '$@'"

Paul [W] Campbell
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