branches is not a problem to have, what makes it difficult is naming standards.
In SuperCollider we try to name the branches after their topic e.g. "topic/fix-serverHelp"
This means I (as a dumb user) understand that this is not the branch I want.
If there's a branch called "bela_hackery_v2", then this implies "fingers off! won't work anyhow".
Why not have a "bela_master" and then topic branches a la "topic/bela_fixFoo"?
(plus, in git-GUI programs, a slash often translates into a collaspable branch in the branch directory)
as for the Bela branches, calling everything "dev" just simply makes things difficult to read.
also, there's not much reason to bloat the
upstream repo with development branches. Simply fork the bela repo into your own github account, branch in there and do pull-requests (which you may even grant yourself...). Then, throw away the pulled branch. >>> clean slate again.