On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 11:07:05AM -0700, yaneurabeya . wrote:

>     I added an arbitrary upstream remote thinking that I could just
> git diff the upstream remote's master. Turns out I needed to run git
> pull --all in order to be able to diff the file (I forgot that step).

Actually, you can just run "git fetch"; you just need to fetch the
commits from the remote, but you do not need to merge them (and pull is
a fetch plus a merge).

>     Could this error message be improved for interactive commands by
> first checking to see whether or not the path starts with a remote,
> then recommend that the remote be pulled?

That might be worth doing. We cannot definitely say the branch exists
without hitting the network (which we would not want to do in the
general case), but I think it is reasonable for git to give suggestions
(we could also give a "did you mean X..." for near-typos, as we do for
typo-ed commands like "git dif".

If you do try it, please don't just check for the remote name, but
actually complete the right-hand side of the fetch refspec for each
remote. They are equivalent in the default config, but aren't
necessarily so (and there has been talk of adjusting the layout of
remote refspecs). I don't recall offhand what functions we have to help
you, but I believe Johan (cc'd) was working in this area recently and
might be able to say more.

> If this seems sane, I could whip up a patch and post it in a github
> pull request.

If you do write a patch, please send it to the list, as the github
repository is a mirror, and actual development happens here. Details are
in Documentation/SubmittingPatches.

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