On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 09:31:24PM -0400, Jeff King wrote:

> I noticed that "git archive" will barf when the root tree is empty.
> [...]
> I didn't bother even looking at empty subtrees. AFAIK, git should never
> produce them (it omits the tree entirely if there is no content in it).
> You would have to fake it using hash-object manually. I suspect it would
> work just fine, as we already exercise the empty-dir code paths in the
> tests I did add.

Curious, I went ahead and tested this. It does indeed work as expected.
The following tests can be squashed into patch 2/2 if we want:

diff --git a/t/t5004-archive-corner-cases.sh b/t/t5004-archive-corner-cases.sh
index 395dd58..cdb7d7a 100755
--- a/t/t5004-archive-corner-cases.sh
+++ b/t/t5004-archive-corner-cases.sh
@@ -80,4 +80,23 @@ test_expect_success 'archive complains about pathspec on 
empty tree' '
        test_must_fail git archive --format=tar HEAD -- foo >/dev/null
+test_expect_success 'create a commit with an empty subtree' '
+       empty_tree=$(git hash-object -t tree /dev/null) &&
+       root_tree=$(printf "040000 tree $empty_tree\tsub\n" | git mktree)
+test_expect_success 'archive empty subtree with no pathspec' '
+       git archive --format=tar $root_tree >subtree-all.tar &&
+       make_dir extract &&
+       "$TAR" xf subtree-all.tar -C extract &&
+       check_dir extract sub
+test_expect_success 'archive empty subtree by direct pathspec' '
+       git archive --format=tar $root_tree -- sub >subtree-path.tar &&
+       make_dir extract &&
+       "$TAR" xf subtree-path.tar -C extract &&
+       check_dir extract sub
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