While I appreciate everyone's assistance ... you seem to be answering someone 
else's question :-(

I know from reading what little I have about this matter (generally, VCing 
$HOME content) that a lotta people, for a long time, has been concerned with 
what I would call "the output side" (or, temporally, post-commit): they don't 
want extraneous content to checkout into their $HOME. And this seems to be the 
question you're addressing with, e.g., 

Mark Stillwell Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:12:34 +0000 [1]
> set up a vcsh hook that configures the  repositories to ignore certain files 
> when they're checked out

Unfortunately, that's not my question/problem[2]: I'm asking about the *input* 
side, or *pre-commit*: how can I get a README into the root of a vcsh-based 
repo (to make it available for a remote/web repo) *without* putting it into 
${HOME} pre-commit?

Consider the following usecase, alluded to in this issue[3]

>> 1. I want to create multiple vcsh repos for various configurations (bash, 
>> emacs, ssh, etc).

>> 2. IIUC, if I create ~/README.rst for project=vcsh-bash, and then change 
>> ~/README.rst for project=vcsh-emacs, project=vcsh-bash will see the change 
>> as a vcsh diff, no?

but I guess I should've spelled it out:

1. I create repo=vcsh-bash to VC files including ~/.bash* . I add a 
~/README.rst to make it available to its remote/web repo, then commit and push.

2. I create repo=vcsh-emacs to VC files including ~/.authinfo , 
~/bin/emacsclient_helper.sh , ~/emacs/init.el , etc . I rewrite ~/README.rst to 
make that available to the remote for vcsh-emacs, then commit and push.

3. I make a change to ~/.bashrc , which I seek to commit to vcsh-bash. `vcsh 
vcsh-bash status` shows as modified=

* ~/.bashrc    : that I intend

* ~/README.rst : that I want to avoid

So do you see how the above is "input-oriented," or am I unclear, or am I 
missing something?

By contrast, note I'm OK with the following, "output-oriented" usecase (which 
ISTM is what you're trying to answer): on a fresh machine, I

1. Clone vcsh-bash. This *outputs* or creates ~/README.rst , which I must 
delete.

2. Clone vcsh-emacs. This again outputs ~/README.rst , which again I must 
delete.

Net: I don't much care if my repo *outputs* ~/README.rst post-commit , I just 
don't want to hafta *input* ~/README.rst , pre-commit, to avoid problems with 
the vcsh equivalents of `git diff` and `git status`.

TIA, Tom Roche <tom_ro...@pobox.com>

[1]: http://lists.madduck.net/pipermail/vcs-home/2015-February/000979.html
[2]: http://lists.madduck.net/pipermail/vcs-home/2015-February/000978.html
[3]: https://github.com/RichiH/vcsh/issues/147
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