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As noted in this question, I ran into an issue with git add /**.... I can't actually find any documentation on the "/**" form of path specifications - possibly because it's hard to google.

How is it meant to work, exactly? I'm particularly curious that git add /\*\*.py can work but git add /path/foo.py won't - why is the slash allowed at the start of the string with the ** notation?

EDIT more info:

$ echo /**.py
/**.py

(This version of Bash doesn't support shopt -s globstar)

Yet:

$ git add /**.py

adds (silently) a file three directories beneath the current directory. Git apparently doesn't do any globbing at all, so I'm really curious what's going on here.

These also work:

`git add '/**.py'`
`git add /*******.py` 

This doesn't:

`git add **.py`

This seems to add all files anywhere in the current working directory.

(Bash 3.2.48 on OSX)

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You need to define "work" here - Please paste the actual commands, the output, and what you expected to happen instead. –  l0b0 May 9 '12 at 14:53
    
Ok, I pasted the commands above. None of them produce any output. I don't have "what I expected to happen" - that's what I'm asking. The behaviour where it adds no files, and produces no output seems confusing, so I'm asking how these commands are being interpreted. –  Steve Bennett May 11 '12 at 0:49

1 Answer 1

Globs are resolved by the shell when you run such a command, not by git. Try echo /** to see what that resolves to. There is a recursive glob pattern in Bash which uses this syntax, but you have to shopt -s globstar to enable it (it seems to be disabled by default).

git add /\*\*.py tries to add a file called literally **.py. While it's possible to create such a file, it's probably not intended.

git /path/foo.py is meaningless - I assume you meant git add /path/foo.py.

In all these commands, you should remove the initial slash - You generally want to refer to files in a repository by their path relative to $PWD.

echo /**.py will print /**.py unless shopt nullglob is off or you actually have a .py file in the root directory.

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