What happens to the associated Git branch when a pull request is declined? I believe the documentation says that nothing happens to the underlying repository.
What happens if the branch is later deleted? Will the pull request still "hold on" to the code that was supposed to be merged? Or will Git eventually garbage collect them if no branches/tags reference the changed code?
In case it's helpful, I'm wondering what will happen if these steps happen:
If you delete a branch that have not been merged, as in the scenario of a pull request being declined, your commits would also be lost. So the only thing the pull request would hold on to would be the commits, but since those have been deleted you would not be able to reopen or view the code changes. This is why Bitbucket gives you a warning when deleting a branch with commits that you will lose those changes too.
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