git ignore exception not working as desired

WinXP + mysisGit1.7

In my .gitignore file, but still can’t see Demos/path/to/file/file.cpp being tracked by git.

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• I have below entries:

Demos/
!Demos/path/to/file/file.cpp


The absolute path is: c:\Project\Demos\path\to\file\file.cpp

What could be wrong? Please help, thanks.

EDIT:

I found the way how mysisGit .gitignore work on WindowsXP can only ignore certain type of file, then exclude some files with same type. For example:

*.bak
!tracking.bak
!/path/to/file/tracking2.bak


It doesn’t work ignore folder and exclude some files under that folder. Below won’t work:

/folderUnderRepoRoot/
!/folderUnderRepoRoot/tracking.cpp


Nor

anyFolderNamedLikeThis/
!anyFolderNamedLikeThis/tracking.cpp
!/anyFolderNamedLikeThis/tracking.cpp


However, I do find that there’s an exception. There’s a work-around way to exclude files just right under the ignored folder (not to its subfolder). This works.

/folderUnderRepoRoot/*
/folderUnderRepoRoot/tracking.cpp


But this way is only limited when the file is not in any subfolder, so it’s not so useful.

So I end up still commit most of source files, even I was only interested in a few files while tracking some others big project. Which means there’re a bunch of files I won’t touch but still need to commit them.

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Your .gitignore exception does not work because “It is not possible to re-include a file if a parent directory of that file is excluded” [source].

As an ugly-but-working workaround, do this on every directory level on the path to your file:

1. exclude all content of the directory
2. re-include the sub-directory leading to your file (or finally, your file).

Your entries would look like this, with each two-line section executing these steps for one level of the directory hierarchy:

Demos/**
!Demos/path/

Demos/path/**
!Demos/path/to/

Demos/path/to/**
!Demos/path/to/file/

Demos/path/to/file/**
!Demos/path/to/file/file.cpp


So, you don’t start by excluding Demos/ like the question author did. It’s a parent directory of our file, so you would have to re-include it right afterwards. Instead, start by excluding its contents: Demos/**.

Do add to .gitignore as follows:

folderUnderRepoRoot/**/*
!folderUnderRepoRoot/tracking.cpp


But make sure, that at least a one file added to git index from the folderUnderRepoRoot folder.

Can you try replacing it with !/Demos/path/to/file/file.cpp (note the leading slash after the exclamation mark) instead and try again?

If it’s just one file, I wouldn’t normally modify .gitignore

The following should ignore .gitignore and allow you to add the file

git add -f Demos/path/to/file/file.cpp

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