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gitattributes not read for diff-tree anymore in 2.15?


I've bisected a failure in our test suite to this commit:

    commit 557a5998df19faf8641acfc5b6b1c3c2ba64dca9 (HEAD, refs/bisect/bad)
    Author: Brandon Williams <bmwill@xxxxxxxxxx>
    Date:   Thu Aug 3 11:20:00 2017 -0700

        submodule: remove gitmodules_config

        Now that the submodule-config subsystem can lazily read the gitmodules
        file we no longer need to explicitly pre-read the gitmodules by calling
        'gitmodules_config()' so let's remove it.

        Signed-off-by: Brandon Williams <bmwill@xxxxxxxxxx>
        Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <gitster@xxxxxxxxx>

Which is tags/v2.15.0-rc0~120^2.

Our test suite is in a Rust project here:


and the failing test(s) can be run using:

    cargo test whitespace_all_ignored

The test checks that when `.gitattributes` says that whitespace errors
should be ignored, they aren't reported as errors. My guess is that not
reading the gitmodules configuration also skips reading attributes
files. Is this reasoning correct?