Junio C Hamano <gits...@pobox.com> writes:

> Mara Kim <mara....@vanderbilt.edu> writes:
>> Apologies if this question has been asked already, but what is the
>> reasoning behind making git clone not recursive (--recursive) by
>> default?
> The primary reason why submodules are separate repositories is not
> to require people to have everything.  Some people want recursive,
> some others don't, and the world is not always "majority wins" (not
> that I am saying that majority will want recursive).
> Inertia, aka backward compatibility and not surprising existing
> users, plays some role when deciding the default.
> Also, going --recursive when the user did not want is a lot more
> expensive mistake to fix than not being --recursive when the user
> wanted to.

Having said all that, I do not mean to say that I am opposed to
introduce some mechanism to let the users express their preference
between recursive and non-recursive better, so that "git clone"
without an explicit --recursive (or --no-recursive) can work to
their taste.  A configuration in $HOME/.gitconfig might be a place
to start, even though that has the downside of assuming that the
given user would want to use the same settings for all his projects,
which may not be the case in practice.
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