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Marking a branch "closed" in GIT?

+1 vote
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Lets say I've got a topic branch. I've made a bunch of commits. It's messy. But it's done.

As I understand it, best practice is to do a squash commit of the whole thing onto the parent branch (develop or master, depending on workflow). And I can do that.

What do I do with the leftover? I thought I could tag it as "closed", but I can't use the same tag more than once. What's the best way to mark it as done, or should I just delete the branch label and let it be garbage collected/deleted?

posted Jul 20, 2016 by anonymous

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2 Answers

0 votes

Depends on your workflow. For one project, I interactive-rebase my feature branches often, and merge them into master when they are finished; after that, they can live forever in the repository, and if the feature needs a fix or change, I can check them out.

For another project, I squash-commit the feature branch then delete it. In a third one I squash and don't delete. You decide :)

answer Jul 20, 2016 by Ahmed Patel
0 votes

Squashing makes sense if you have a really ratty bunch of checkins with work-in-progress checkins etc., but unless its a trivial topic branch I would still typically make the final set of commits into a few logical steps.

It costs pretty much nothing to leave old topic branches around (but a few thousand "nothings" can add up :-)).

Once you have merged a topic branch you can safely delete the branch with no harm (apart from losing the branch itself).

As Ahmed says it depends on your workflow.

For example lets say you are using some fault tracking database (eg. trac). It often makes sense to do the fix on a topic branch (eg. fix-trac-1234). If you leave the branch in place after merging it you can then refer to the branch in the trac notes and see what fixes were used to fix the bug (and reopen the bug if it needs another kick).

answer Jul 20, 2016 by Sidharth
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