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I'm not convinced on the bisect issue either. I've personally done a bisect spanning 10000 changesets with 50 concurrent branches at the widest point. Found the problem right away.

We follow a similar branching model. Master is kept clean. We do all development on feature branches and merge when complete. History is fully preserved. History is a mess but it works well overall.

I would argue that you want to resolve conflicts in a rebase instead of a merge. This allows you to see where the branches diverge and fix it right away, closer to the offending commits, Preventing more work from piling up around the conflict making it harder to piece what's going on.

It can mean that you fix conflicts closer to the point where they first happened, or it can mean that you have to fix the conflict in a bunch of different ways as it propagates through each successive commit. I find myself trying to outsmart the conflicts: "Ok, I know I changed such-and-such in such-and-such a way here in a few commits, so if I fix this conflict like this, then hopefully I won't have to fix that commit later..."

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