Thomas Rast <tr...@student.ethz.ch> writes:

> Before 82dce99 (attr: more matching optimizations from .gitignore,
> 2012-10-15), .gitattributes did not have any special treatment of a
> leading '!'.  The docs, however, always said
>
>   The rules how the pattern matches paths are the same as in
>   `.gitignore` files; see linkgit:gitignore[5].
>
> By those rules, leading '!' means pattern negation.  So 82dce99
> correctly determined that this kind of line makes no sense and should
> be disallowed.
>
> However, users who actually had a rule for files starting with a '!'
> are in a bad position: before 82dce99 '!' matched that literal
> character, so it is conceivable that users have .gitattributes with
> such lines in them.  After 82dce99 the unescaped version was
> disallowed in such a way that git outright refuses to run(!) most
> commands in the presence of such a .gitattributes.  It therefore
> becomes very hard to fix, let alone work with, such repositories.

Fixing the working tree is easy, but when we read from a history
that already records such an entry in an attribute file, it would
become somewhat cumbersome.  I wouldn't use "very hard to fix" to
describe such a case.

But the demotion to warning does make sense; let's do that in
v1.8.1.5.
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