On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 08:02:30AM -0000, Philip Oakley wrote:
> >> Yeah, for historical reasons GIT_WORK_TREE defaults to $(pwd) when
> >> GIT_DIR is explicitly set.
> >
> > And it *WILL* be that way til the end of time.  Unless you are at
> > the top level of your working tree, you are supposed to tell where
> > the top level is with GIT_WORK_TREE when you use GIT_DIR.  Always.
> Should this important warning be part of the git(1) documentation on the 
> environment variables (and possibly other places) given the consequences 
> of this case? It wasn't something I'd appreciated from a simple reading.

Something like this, maybe?

-- 8< --
Subject: [PATCH] git.txt: document the implicit working tree setting with 

Signed-off-by: Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy <pclo...@gmail.com>
 Documentation/git.txt | 2 ++
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/git.txt b/Documentation/git.txt
index 7efaa59..ce55abf 100644
--- a/Documentation/git.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git.txt
@@ -671,6 +671,8 @@ Git so take care if using Cogito etc.
        specifies a path to use instead of the default `.git`
        for the base of the repository.
        The '--git-dir' command-line option also sets this value.
+       If neither GIT_WORK_TREE nor '--work-tree' is set, the
+       current directory will become the working tree.
        Set the path to the working tree.  The value will not be
-- 8< --
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