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Practical Perforce Paperback – November 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101855
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is an indispensable companion for any Perforce user who wants to get it right. Highly recommended." - Mike James, - VSJ, September 2006

Book Description

Channeling the Flow of Change in Software Development Collaboration

Customer Reviews

I purchased this book and read it from cover to cover (with a little skimming here and there).
D Anderton
This book really digs into how to manage branches and shows how to use Perforce in real world situations, like freezing branches, then applying patches.
Jack D. Herrington
The writing style is easy to follow, the book is well edited and clearly laid out, and the examples are well-chosen and meaningful.
Bryan Pendleton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Greg R. Johnson on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good introduction to Perforce.

However it is quite *OBSOLETE* at the time of this review (Aug-2012) - and because of that is of marginal use.

A new edition desperately needs to be written. There has been a *lot* of changes since '05 which this book does not cover (p4sandbox for example, streams for another).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
'Practical Perforce' by Laura Wingerd is a nice companion manual for all Perforce administrators. For anyone that doesn't know what Perforce is, in short it is a SCM (Source Control Management) tool much like CVS, Visual Sourcesafe, Rational Clearcase, Accurev, etc). Like most SCM software out there, documentation is sparse and can be confusing at time for any release engineer to navigate through, so this is a welcome text to have by your side.

WARNING: If you are looking to LEARN Perforce, this is not the book for you. This book assumes that you have some experience with this application and its uses. Buyer beware if you pick this book up as a straight teaching tool as it would probably be more beneficial to get up to speed via a fellow engineer before you open up this text. This doesn't take away from this nice book at all, it's just clarification re: the use of it.

**** RECOMMENDED
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love Perforce, but I'm not a big fan of their documentation. What little material they have on proper use of Perforce is terse and mainly impenetrable. This book really digs into how to manage branches and shows how to use Perforce in real world situations, like freezing branches, then applying patches. That stuff can be tough and mistakes are costly. That's why I say that this is the book that will save your ass.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alan Teague on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
While Perforce is a very flexible SCM system that allows you to run your projects in pretty much any conceivable configuration, it can be daunting deciding on which to use. This book provides a great practical way to setup and use Perforce. In particular, the last section contains specific examples on setting up branches and how to safely integrate between them. If you use Perforce, keep this book handy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cowham on December 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book on Perforce but is more than that since it contains some very useful ideas on branching and the "Flow of Change" which apply to all SCM tools. Laura writes very clearly and in an engaging style.

It is particularly good on explaining lots of details of how to do branching and merging which is an area a lot of people initially have trouble with. It goes on to identify a variety of scenarios and how to address them that will be invaluable to many people.

I have been working with Perforce since 1997 and provide consultancy and training in the tool and still learnt a number of new things from this book. In particular I will be "borrowing" some of the ways of explaining that Laura uses!

My only quibble is the focus on the use of the command line which might put some people off. Don't let it - if you use Perforce you need this book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Pendleton on January 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book provides a thorough, yet highly readable education on how to use Perforce effectively. The writing style is easy to follow, the book is well edited and clearly laid out, and the examples are well-chosen and meaningful.

One thing I found particularly nice about this book is that it appeals both to the Perforce expert, as well as to the Perforce beginner. Experts will appreciate the clear explanation of the underlying details, while more casual users will find numerous hints, tips, and recipes that they can put to use immediately.

I think this book is even useful to non-Perforce users, specifically for the chapters which discuss some of the underlying philosophy of source code control and configuration management, such as the mainline model, the flow of change, and the ideas on how to integrate source code control into your overall software development organization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leonard T. Steiner on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Practical Perforce is an excellent introductory to intermediate text for those who might use the Perforce application. It progresses from the very basic introduction all the way to Web Content with numerous steps in between. Texts of this type and for this program are difficult to come by and this book is excellent in that it covers the entire spectrum of Perforce. I use Perforce daily in the course of my work and I found this book an excellent reference to keep me sharp. I highly recommend this text to anyone that uses Perforce.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Should you use Perforce? No. Back in 2005 it must have seemed like a viable alternative, but now that the DVCSs have arrived (Git, Mercurial, etc.), Perforce is clearly in terminal decline. Check "Perforce vs Git" in Google Trends for the striking picture.

That said, if you find yourself in a situation in which you have no choice but to deal with Perforce, this is a useful book to have. That's partly true because there are no other books. (!) You'll see a few others listed in Amazon, but they're all just bound copies of manuals from the Perforce site. In my opinion, those others are pretty mediocre, by the standards of (say) typical Linux documentation.

Practical Perforce was written in 2005 by Perforce's VP of Product Technology. As such, it's partly an advertisement for Perforce, especially the first chapters. But in places the book is frank about Perforce's problems (albeit perhaps unintentionally).

Some of the partisan material will draw guffaws from knowing users. For example, the bit about Open Source software being hell to install, versus the ease with which commercial software just works out of the box. Other bits are a little arresting, as the author cannot have realized that the seeds of Perforce's demise were being planted even as the book was being written. Git and Mercurial were both released in 2005.

One of the worst things about Perforce is the confusing and ill-considered way they name the various concepts and commands. What you might call a workspace, Perforce wants to call a "client". And as the book says, "the P4 branch command does not branch files" and "the P4 label command does not label files".
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