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So I created a new branch from master and eventually merge the changes back, only some changes seemed to merge and it would seem I merged in one direction. Eventually I just decided to be sure master received all the 'experimental' changes then I deleted the experimental branch and made a new one. So this question is turning into a few questions suddenly:

1) How do I match up branches but keep them separate?

1a) Is that bad practice to not just make a new branch?

2) Why were the branches not the same after after one merge?

2a) Am I only supposed to call a merge on the one that I want to have all of the changes?

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1) You could merge in both directions but i personally think its not worth the time and efford if you do not have a specific reason for that.

1a) We use to create new dev branches after merges if necessary or keep the dev branch to develop a certain set of features and merge it into main again later. It depends on your requirements or your companies guidelines.

2) The meaning of a merge is to create a single dataset from two (or many). So you could see your main branch as the resulting set of data.

2a) Basically yes.

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