git annex sync --content to a exporttree remote that does not have a tracking branch configured can be confusing. It will sometimes try to upload files to the remote, but not files that were just committed.

Part of the problem is that the tracking branch is stored in local git config, but the exported tree is stored in git-annex branch. So git annex sync --content can be behaving as desired, updating a tracking branch, but then in a new clone of the same repository, it will behave differently.

On the other hand, tracking branches are a locally configured concept in git, and that's why it seems to make sense to have them be locally configured in git-annex too.

Maybe git-annex sync could just display a message when the remote doesn't have a tracking branch, to help the user understand why it's not syncing their recent changes to it.

--Joey

done --Joey