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I would almost prefer we just moved this to a build dir somewhere and probably leave them named as-is? Now that we use maven we no longer use build but having yet another scratch dir seems less appealing (even though it is more appealing than n tmp_* files).
Also what is that .gitignore line for?
yup, the common idiom for keeping a directory around is either a .gitkeep file which does nothing but it's content and therefore can be tracked by git. Or add a .gitignore which has the added bonus of being able to keep the contents of the directory out of the repo without having to ignore the directory itself. Unsurprisingly .gitkeep has fallen out of favor.