You can clone with
HTTPS or Subversion.
When asked to 'pip install .' it would be nice if pip actually reinstalled it, rather than checking the version number.
Should the general heuristic be to reinstall local files that are given on the command line? This would keep local files in requirement files from being reinstalled automatically, which may or may not be a good idea, I can't decide.
(It should be feasible to determine why something is being installed using comes_from and so treat command-line arguments differently from other indirect installations.)
I'm not sure there is, --ignore-installed would force a reinstall, but it'd force a reinstall of all the dependencies too. pip install -e should work okay, since edits should show up, and I believe it does force installation. But pip install . copies files and doesn't force.
pip install -e
pip install .
I'd personally prefer if pip install didn't do the work if none is required. It's "more idempotent" :-), and I think more useful when installing "released" packages. But I agree that an optional --reinstall that forces reinstall of the requested package (but not its dependencies) is useful. That would be my suggestion, if I can pipe in here. (Right now I'm using pip install --no-deps --ignore-installed to do that for my package in development, but it's a bit of a mouthful.)
pip install --no-deps --ignore-installed
Perhaps an --ignore-installed-this option that ignores installed except for dependencies?