So this should explain the problem:

  # using v1.8.3.1
  $ git clone https://google.com
  Cloning into 'google.com'...
  fatal: repository 'https://google.com/' not found

  # using master
  $ git clone https://google.com
  Cloning into 'google.com'...
  fatal: repository 'https://google.com/' not found
  fatal: Reading from helper 'git-remote-https' failed

To figure out where the regression was coming from, I ran a bisect
with this script:

  make clean &&
  make -j 8 &&
  cd t &&
  sh -v -i clone-message.sh

where clone-message.sh is:


  . ./test-lib.sh

  test_expect_success setup '

        rm -fr .git &&
        test_create_repo src &&
                cd src &&
                >file &&
                git add file &&
                git commit -m initial &&
                echo 1 >file &&
                git add file &&
                git commit -m updated


  test_expect_success 'clone invalid URL' '
        rm -fr dst &&
        test_must_fail git clone https://google.com 2>msg &&
        test_i18ngrep "repository .* not found" msg &&
        ! test_i18ngrep "git-remote-https" msg


The bisect pointed me to: 81d340d4 (transport-helper: report errors
properly, 2013-04-10).

  $ git clone https://google.com
  Cloning into 'google.com'...
  fatal: https://google.com/info/refs?service=git-upload-pack not
found: did you run git update-server-info on the server?
  fatal: Reading from remote helper failed

What?!  Okay, the last "Reading from remote helper failed" was
introduced by this commit; my clone-message.sh has a bug.  So I
commented out the first test_i18ngrep and ran it.  Result: c096955
(transport-helper: mention helper name when it dies, 2013-04-10).
This is not the real culprit: it just changed the message string that
81d340d4 originally introduced.

Okay, so am I reporting a valid bug?  Going through remote-curl, I can
see that it dies in remote-curl.c:213 if HTTP_TARGET_MISSING.  If that
is the case, what is the point of printing the second message about
the remote helper program not being present?

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