I've recently learned git allows 'shallow' clones that may contain no
history whatsoever.

See the git clone manual <https://git-scm.com/docs/git-clone>, specifically
the --depth parameter.

Obviously this will be a huge bandwidth, time and disk saver for some

And it seems that git even supports push / pull from shallow repositories.

I believe this would permit us to still use a single unaltered repository
while allowing users (or GitHub mirrors) to be shallow.

PS: Philosophically speaking, I see all this discussion about repository
size and history stripping as a failure of DVCS
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_version_control>s and/or of the
Internet infrastructure. Removing history is the equivalent of removing
comments to save disk space.

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