Top positive review
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An updated guide and reference to Subversion
on January 16, 2007
The second edition of Practical Subversion has been updated, but not substantially changed. The new edition has somewhat higher production quality and editing. The reference material on the various svn subcommands has been updated to be more current. This is very important because the first edition was badly out-of-date in this area.
The book has many good features, such as the "Best Practices" chapter, the comparison of Subversion against other version control systems. and the API documentation. These sections have been cleaned up and, in a few cases, extended to provide a real benefit to the reader.
Unfortunately, I don't think the book went far enough with the practical "guide" content. More information about how to use version control and the special features of Subversion in particular would have been a better use of space than repeating the reference material that can be had freely on-line.
Like the first edition, this book tries to be both a solid reference and a practical guide. Unfortunately, the authors do not separate these two missions in the book. This leads to a kind of split personality, where the practical advice is interrupted by reference material and vice versa. I found this to be a bit distracting, and think it prevents this from being a great book.
That being said, this is a good book that covers Subversion quite well. I have recommended it to people already on the strength of the "Best Practices" chapter alone. If you are using Subversion, the practical usage information in this book should help you make better use of the tool.If you are considering using Subversion, the comparison of Subversion against other tools is a very important resource.
Although I think the structure of the book could be improved, I still don't mind recommending the book.