On Thu, 28 Jan 2016 09:25:51 -0600
John McKown <john.archie.mck...@gmail.com> wrote:

> OK, I admit it, I want to abuse git. I cloned a library which
> implements some functionality. The library is written in Python. I
> want to "port" this functionality to Google's Go language.

Congrats with this from another gopher! ;-)

> Now, what is probably the correct thing to do is to simply create a
> "Go" branch and develop there, leaving the Python code alone. Perhaps
> merging the Go branch back into "master" once the port is working.
> But I'd really like to create the "Go" branch with none of the Python
> files in it and with no "footprints" of the Python code in the "Go"
> branch. I know that I could simply create the "Go" branch, then git
> rm all the Python code. But I don't really like "cluttering up" the
> commit log in the "Go" branch that way.

That's what `git checkout --orphan <branchname>` is for.

Basically you do:

  $ git checkout --orphan go
  $ git rm -rf --cached .
  ... also maybe remove most of the files in the work tree as well
  $ git add whatever
  $ git commit # Will be the first commit on "go"
> Perhaps what I need to do is create a separate repository with the
> "Go" code. And then, later, somehow "merge" (not git merge) the two
> repositories together. Perhaps something like:
> cd ~/Library
> git fetch file://~/Library-Go/.git Go

^^^ JFTR, this is an anti-pattern: most Git operations on
locally-accessible repositories (same filesystem) are faster when you
just use plain pathnames, like in `git fetch ~/Library-Go` (there's no
need to tuck "/.git" onto its end BTW) -- because Git "short-circuits"
certain operations then.

> git checkout FETCH_HEAD
> git checkout -b Go
> git checkout -- master .gitignore
> # remove files in directory which were in .gitignore from master
> # branch

In my eyes, what these commands appear to do would amount to

  git fetch ~/Library/Go Go:Go
  git checkout -- master .gitignore

> Or am I totally off-base with this idea of keeping functionally
> identical libraries implemented in different language in different
> branches?

The end result of that "separate repo + fetch a single branch" approach
would result in absolutely the same end result, right?

So I'd personally would Go with a from-scratch branch in the original

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