git-annex - documentation clarification - I've had data loss

Joey Hess joey at
Mon Feb 10 17:02:24 CET 2014

Matthew Hannigan wrote:
> Anyway, time passes, and I decide to move all this content over to a
> different disk.
> I just used drag and drop from a gui (not sure whether windows or
> linux) and of course the select doesn't pick up the .git directory.
> Next I reformated the disk, and get a funny feeling that the copy went
> a little too fast ...
> Can I suggest that the following wording be changed from this:
> "When you add a file to the annex and commit it, only a symlink to the
> annexed content is committed. The content itself is stored in
> git-annex's backend."
>  to this:
> When you add a file to the annex, the content is moved to git-annex's
> backend (.git/annex/..) and replaced with a symlink.  The commit only
> commits the symlink.

I've made a similar wording change.

Thanks for taking an unfortunate mistake and turning it constructive!

> The page might be
> improved the same way.
> It currently says
> "The contents of large files are not stored in git, only the names of
> the files and some other metadata remain there."
> which is strictly true but might lead others to make the same mistaken
> assumption that I did.

I think the next paragraph after that explains it well enough there.

see shy jo
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