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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to CVS
I administer our CVS server at work. We use CVS in the traditional way, to manage source code from a group of people working together on multiple projects. Before this book, I didn't have a single reference that explained all the basic functionality of CVS. Now, when someone has a question, I can pass along this book for a quick answer.
Most of the things you'll...
Published on March 26, 2004 by Amazon Customer

versus
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Clear on the Merging Branches
For me the quick way to review a CVS book is to read it's sections on merging branches. It was covered in about two pages in this book and wholely inadequate.
For a general CVS admin reference, it seems OK, but I was too disappointed regarding branches. My quest for a great CVS book continues....
Published on February 10, 2004 by James McPhate


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to CVS, March 26, 2004
By 
Amazon Customer "Technology Geek" (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
I administer our CVS server at work. We use CVS in the traditional way, to manage source code from a group of people working together on multiple projects. Before this book, I didn't have a single reference that explained all the basic functionality of CVS. Now, when someone has a question, I can pass along this book for a quick answer.
Most of the things you'll do with CVS are covered in sufficient detail in this book. I do agree with the reviewer who mentioned this is not the perfect reference for some tasks - like merging branches. This book will, however, give you all the background information you'll need so that you can effectively research complex topics like this on the web. The title is appropriate - 'essential CVS.' It's not 'everything there is to know about CVS' - and that's a strength of the book. It makes it small enough that the average developer can read the 'quickstart,' and have a basic understanding of how things work. They can then use the more detailed chapters to gain further information. Only the CVS administrator will need a little more. Even for them, this book will be a handy reference.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An effective coverage of CVS, December 7, 2003
By 
Foti Massimo (Vezia (Switzerland)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
Being part of the "Essential" series, this book doesn't pretend to be the ultimate reference on the subject, but it delivers an effective coverage of CVS. The author start from scratch and goes up to explain more advanced features like tagging and branching. In my opinion the way chapters are organized is not ideal and there is some redundancy here and there, notwithstanding these shortcomings, I would recommend it. Just be advised the whole book is totally Unix centric and all the samples cover only command-line usage.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book if you're a CVS user..., January 7, 2004
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
If you're looking for a low-cost entry into the world of version control software, the open source CVS package is a very logical choice. But like most open source packages, the documentation is less than perfect if you want something more than just a reference manual for learning purposes. It's at this point you need a book that explains a bit more about the why's of what you need to do. This book fills that gap nicely.

The target audience is both users and administrators of the system. Vesperman starts out with an explanation of what version management and source control systems are, and then goes into the usage of CVS for those different groups. And if you are thinking that CVS is just for managing code, think again. CVS can be used to manage any document types, such as code, documentation, images, etc.

If you're using Websphere Application Development Studio (WSAD), the CVS package has an interface built right in. You select that option during WSAD installation, and the right perspectives are added to your environment. You will still need to have a CVS server set up somewhere to manage the source files, and this book will be very helpful in aiding you during that process.

Since CVS is based on the Unix platform, all the examples in the book are set up to use command line interfaces to the functions. Vesperman uses plenty of scripts to show you how to accomplish all the functions, which is great. In my case, I'll be using WSAD to work with CVS as a developer, so many of those examples were wasted on me. Still, the concepts behind CVS and the general capabilities of the package are covered well, so a read-through on this book will benefit you either way.

For Notes/Domino developers, there is no interface you can use for this package. You could, if you wanted, check in your .NSF files and use CVS to manage the version control. You'd lose some of the benefits of CVS like file comparison, but it's still better than having no version control at all. There are non-CVS systems out there for Notes/Domino content management, and you would probably derive more benefit from those packages than trying to use CVS in this case.

Conclusion
If you are moving into the WSAD world for Java development, check out CVS for version management. If you do decide to go with CVS, get a copy of this book to supplement the official documentation. Recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, but not very well organized, September 5, 2003
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
Essential CVS by Jennifer Vesperman is a very informative book on CVS ever published. Most developers working with CVS - Concurrent Versions System - will appreciate tips, tricks details provided by the author. It covers all the aspects of managing projects using CVS that most of us will ever need.
I especially appreciate the author's discussion on tagging and branching strategies. She compares available branching strategies, talks about pros and cons of each in details to help you pick the one you see more fit.
She also provides tips and tricks, ranging from absurd (such as switching your sandbox by editing your CVS/Repository file) to intimidating (such as playing with the repositories directly). These tips will help you understand the system's internals, which hopefully will result in productivity (if not in disaster).
At first, I found her discussions a bit redundant - you can read the same point repeated several times on the same page or the same chapter over and over. Although it annoyed me to some extent, people not familiar with CVS may appreciate this feature of the book.
She assumes her audience to be familiar with UNIX systems. Although I'm fine with it (I live in Linux), others may not be. Most of the UNIX-related chat are found in her file-utility commands, as well as bash scripts, in addition to some user account/group management.
The organization and writing style of the book is far from ideal. CVS itself is a very exciting topic for software developers. The author of Essential CVS fails to reflect this in her discussions. Her discussions are close to manpage-style, with some detour onto tips and suggestions from time to time.
I believe ideal style for a book on CVS would be a scenario-driven style, which introduces a project, a problem related with managing it, and advances into the features of CVS one solution at a time. Realize, that is it different from cook-book style, which is a Question & Answer styled writing.
Good examples of scenario-driven styled writing are "Apache The Definitive Guide" by O'reilly, which builds a server with a tiny configuration file, and advances to more feature-ful implementation; "MySQL" book of New Riders, which introduces a conventional grade book and advances into more complex RDBMS implementation of it; "DNS and BIND" of O'reilly and etc.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Clear on the Merging Branches, February 10, 2004
By 
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
For me the quick way to review a CVS book is to read it's sections on merging branches. It was covered in about two pages in this book and wholely inadequate.
For a general CVS admin reference, it seems OK, but I was too disappointed regarding branches. My quest for a great CVS book continues....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, well-organized howto, July 19, 2003
By 
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
The first thing I noticed about this book is the logical organization. It starts out with basic CVS functions and uses, then progresses to more advanced tasks and configurations. It is clear and concise, and so well-organized it's easy to look up specific tasks without having to wade through gobs of irrelevant verbiage. It includes many common pitfalls, and what to do about them. It covers logging, scripting, security, local and remote access- this is the best reference for CVS. I recommend it highly all users, beginners to intermediate especially.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Essential CVS, June 30, 2003
By 
Steven W. Orr (Framingham, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
I am unimpressed with this book. I was hoping for much more. Basically, it is a parrot of most of the docs that come with it. So what's missing? It just doesn't go deep enough into how to use it in real life. How do you implement branch locking? How do you secure the server? What sort of example code could they present for the available hooks? There's a mild coverage on branching strategies but a couple of pages leaves you wanting more.
Also, it talks about what graphic layers are available but it doesn't explain why one is better than another. Also, no mention of the fact that Cervisia is a stock component of Red Hat/KDE.
All in all it's not bad for a beginner, but what a book like this really should provide are more of the paradigms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad detailed coverage of CVS for beginner and intermediate, July 16, 2003
By 
Timothy Stone (Harrisburg, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
The broad coverage of the many features of CVS is excellent. Many subjects are covered in the right amount of detail without getting bogged down in the technical. As a CVS beginner the book is just right. Not being a more advanced user I can't comment further on the previous reviewers comments. But I believe that the aspiring CVS admin will find the book very helpful, touching on topics that will spark investigation for more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book, November 21, 2003
By 
Geoffrey S. Robinson (Haddon Heights, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
I've been all over the Internet trying to find how to setup a brand new repository. My book came. I went to chapter 2. After a few pages, everything was done easily.
Pretty much all you need will be in here and it reads pretty easily. I don't think every cvs user will need this. But someone on a team of developers should have this around. And the cvs admin should definitely ahve this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, good coverage of CVS, December 12, 2006
This review is from: Essential CVS (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction if you are new revision control or CVS. The configuration and command reference sections are helpful if you are an experienced CVS user. The author clearly knows her subject well and offers plenty of tips and war stories throughout the text.

The book focusses primarily on Unix CVS servers, so if you plan to run on a Windows server, you will have to do a little more digging. Otherwise, this should be all you need install, configure, use, and even build CVS.

<a href="[...]">Madhu Siddalingaiah</a>
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Essential CVS
Essential CVS by Jennifer Vesperman (Paperback - November 30, 2006)
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