I am just returning to git-annex after some time. The last time I was using it, the ?direct mode guard was not yet in place, and I could supply my own commit messages even in a direct mode repository using git commit. Now that the guard is in place, is there a built-in way to provide a commit message that will be used instead of "git-annex automatic sync" by git annex sync?

I have tried doing a manual commit with git --git-dir=/path/to/local/.git --work-tree=/path/to/local -c core.bare=false commit -m 'Manual Commit Message', and it seems to work. Does this do the same thing as the part of git annex sync that commits any outstanding changes before syncing with remotes?