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What is a Branch?

I'm looking at a project and I see a 'Main Branch' and a lot of other branches below it. Are the other branches supposed to end up in the Main Branch at some point? I don't think so because some haven't been updated in a while so I guess those branches are no longer being developed but what does that mean? Can you still use features developed in those old and apparently abandoned branches? So you just download the program for that branch and use that branch that way? So basically if you want to use all the features associated with all the different branches, you basically need to download all the branches and run the program from the branch of interest?

This seems like an awfully messy way to work.

1 answer

It depends on the branching workflow adopted by your company. Some of those branches might be feature branches and is probably not active anymore.

You might want to learn more about Git workflows and figure out what is in use in your project.

I've never programmed professionally, but I'm looking at some opensource projects and I'm trying to figure out how collaboration works.

In relation to your statement about feature branches, does that mean that in all likely-hood the feature was developed and then merged into the main branch and is implemented in the main branch? But the code from that branch remains as a reference?

That is right. You can quickly test by creating a pullrequest from that feature branch to master. If the commits are already in master, there wouldn't be anything to merge.

Ok, thank you.

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