Am 05.06.2014 14:03, schrieb Johannes Schindelin:
> Hi Karsten,
> On Thu, 5 Jun 2014, Karsten Blees wrote:
>> After a bit of digging in the history and the old googlegroups issue
>> tracker, I think this patch is completely unrelated to the non-ASCII
>> problems.
> Actually, the non-ASCII problems were the trigger for my patch.

The commit message explicitly claims that it fixes issue 482, which is: 'git 
config --global' in the portable version fails with "fatal: $HOME not set" (not 
"unable to access '...'", which you would get for a mangled path that doesn't 

As outlined in the previous mail (analysis 1.), the non-ASCII problem is caused 
by a bug in msys.dll, and it is in fact impossible to fix in git (even if that 
was your intention).

>> In summary, this patch fixes 'git config' for the portable version only,
>> and it only does so partially.
> Care to elaborate?

See previous mail analysis 3. In short: it doesn't work with disconnected home 
share (issue 259), and it doesn't setenv("HOME") (so child processes such as 
git-gui will most likely fail).

>> Am 04.06.2014 17:46, schrieb Johannes Schindelin:
>>> I would be strongly in favor of fixing the problem by the root:
>>> avoiding to have Git rely on the HOME environment variable to be set,
>>> but instead add a clean API call that even says what it is supposed to
>>> do: gimme the user's home directory's path. And that is exactly what
>>> the patch does.
>> By that argument we'd have to introduce API abstractions for every
>> environment variable that could possibly resemble a path (PATH, TMPDIR,
> But of course you are mixing things here. GIT_* are purely Git-specific
> constructs, so there is no possibility for confusion. PATH and TMPDIR need
> to be handled specially (as does HOME) because we are reusing environment
> variable concepts that pose their own set of problems on Windows because
> of the separator, the path separator and the encoding problems.
> I understand that it is easy to confuse my want for a API function for the
> home variable with handling for other environment variables. But that HOME
> is an environment variable is not the point at all! It just *happens* to
> be an environment variable on Linux/Unix.
>> We already have similar fallback logic for TMPDIR that is completely
>> non-intrusive to core git code (fully encapsulated in mingw.c, see
>> mingw_getenv (upstream) or mingw_startup (msysgit)). IMO such a solution
>> would be hugely preferable over adding an additional
>> get_home_directory() API (and continuously checking that no new upstream
>> code accidentally introduces another 'getenv("HOME")').
> Well, since you mention that TMPDIR hack: this is a hack. We are bending
> over in order for upstream not having to accomodate non-POSIX operating
> systems.

Exactly. In order to support different platforms, we need to agree on a common 
abstraction layer to access platform-specific functionality. For the git 
project, this common abstraction layer happens to be the POSIX standard 
(actually: the subset of the standard that is used by core git code). And 
compat/mingw.c implements that abstraction layer for the native Windows 

There are cases where conforming to the standard is simply not feasible, e.g. 
fork() (we don't want to build another cygwin). So we sometimes need special 
handling for certain functionality in core-git (see run-command.c in case of 

However, getenv("HOME"), getenv("TMPDIR") and getenv("PATH") are all fully 
POSIX compliant, including the standardised variable names. In this particular 
case, conforming to the standard (via special handling in mingw_getenv or 
mingw_startup) is actually even _simpler_ than inventing a new, non-standard, 
undocumented get_home_directory() API.

> But how much cleaner would it be if there was an API call with
> varargs. After all, by the reasoning "TMPDIR is a standard on Unix" you
> would also have to special case "/tmp/" in all the open/opendir/etc
> functions because the temporary directory is /tmp/ on Linux/Unix, right?

No, POSIX doesn't specify path names. The standard way to get the temp 
directory is 'getenv("TMPDIR")'. A hardcoded "/tmp" in core git code would be a 

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