Solid day of working on repository recovery. Got
--force working, which involves fixing up branches that refer to missing
objects. Mostly straightforward traversal of git commits, trees, blobs, to
find when a branch has a problem, and identify an old version of it that
predates the missing object. (Can also find them in the reflog.)
The main complication turned out to be that
git branch -D and
show-ref don't behave very well when the commit objects pointed to by refs
are themselves missing. And git has no low-level plumbing that avoids
falling over these problems, so I had to write it myself.
Testing has turned up one unexpected problem: Git's index can itself refer to missing objects, and that will break future commits, etc. So I need to find a way to validate the index, and when it's got problems, either throw it out, or possibly recover some of the staged data from it.