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on July 23, 2016
The title of this book describes it correctly. It is a compact guide covering the basic (and a few more advanced) use cases of Git. If you have already used Git you most likely know everything (or almost everything) explained in this book. That was my case, but I’ve also learnt a few new commands and concepts (like why it’s useful to use -- before providing any file/path names to avoid clashing).

Do not expect an in depth explanation of how Git works under the hood. It is not the focus of this book and there is at least one free book that does this well. But since I find the documentation of Git (yes, I’m talking about you man pages) chaotic it is still useful for me to have a book which is task-oriented and I can always refer to if I forget a specific Git command or concept.
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on March 19, 2013
Clearly, not a Version Control Howto, or anything more than a nicely organized array of howtos, e.g., How to clone a repository, How to add a change, How to commit a change, How to share a change, how to fix a change, etc. For desk side reference, this is nearly as good a the internet, and in environments where outside access is not available, this a great.
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on February 9, 2015
If one is learning to use git, the two things one needs are a clear idea of the data model git uses, and examples relating to both "normal use" and "special case" situations.

This book covers the first of these implicitly, by example. This might not be enough, but I can't really comment since I already learned the data model from "Pro Git" (an excellent resource) and "Version Control with Git" (which has decent coverage of the data model).

This is primarily a book of examples, and these are excellent: well chosen, clearly and concisely described with useful variations and cross-references. One can read the book, or sections thereof, and quickly gain an understanding of normal usage and work flow. Since it's organized by task, one can also use the table of contents to quickly look up any common functionality and a number of advanced usages. It's the sort of book that becomes a first recourse when one has a question -- it's a faster and more reliable way to get answers about git than online docs or Google, at least until one starts asking more obscure questions.

I currently make regular use of the book when I need quick reminders of features I haven't used very much.
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on February 14, 2011
I'm an experienced Subversion user coming up to speed on Git. I've had some negative experiences with DVCS by way of Mercurial, and I've found early experiments with Git leaving me wondering 'what just happened' (and have been somewhat turned off by near ubiquitous Git-worship). But I've had good experience with other PragProg books, and this book is no exception.

There is an art in teaching new material. To teach well, you have to have a solid grasp of who your audience is and what might be their possible modes of misunderstanding. Then you have to pay out the material at the right pace, in the right order. This book meets all those challenges. It speaks in plain English, doesn't try to teach too much too fast, and ends having provided enough information, with common recipes, to get you started with Git.

I've known for some time that I needed to learn Git, but almost all the material I read prior to this book left me wanting more. Not more detail, but a more skilled, perhaps even wise, noiseless presentation of the material. So if you're somewhat discouraged in your search for how to learn Git, look no further. Mr. Swicegood has nailed it.
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on May 10, 2015
I think the book is OK, but I was trying to get more information on specific uses, such as bundling, and did not find anything in the book. The book comes with generous, some would say too generous amounts of white space and fonts that are smaller than standard practice, so it's hard to read, and space seems not well organized. The extended use of small sans serif font in what is compact paragraph text makes it worse. I have not found yet a way of benefit from the content of this book. I will keep checking, and maybe I will find useful content from this book in the future.
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on April 17, 2015
If you are looking for an in depth understanding of Git and of the various development processes it allows, try some other one, but if you are after a pragmatic ( :-) ) description of the commands, it's the right one.
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on September 29, 2013
Straightforward getting-started book unadorned with lengthy BS up front. Kind of a guide that sits out on your table top with pages bent open while you are working. Not a coffee table book to impress friends. I've only gotten halfway through it because that's all the farther I needed to go to get the job done. To be honest, the first 20 pages covers enough to get rolling.

Nota Bene: if you are coming over from Subversion, Git is something different. Never the less, this is straightforward stuff.
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on August 12, 2011
"Pragmatic guide to git" is a new form book from the pragmatic programmers... guide books. The book is structured in such a way that each double-page is a task that you would try to accomplish. The right side of the page is a textual description and the left side of the page are examples of command line runs. This guide is about... git.

Git (the distributed version control system originated from Linux Torvalds) is reasonably easy to use and very powerful, but you'll need to understand a couple of the concepts underneath it. Most version control systems (such as svn) are centralized ones and git is distributed. To add to that, some commands in git at similar as on svn, except that they have different meanings (add being an example). The first part of the book explains some of these basic concepts and then it is divided in seven parts:

1. Working with git (covering all the basic operations)
2. Organizing your repository with branches (covering very basic branching options)
3. Working with a team (covering push, pull)
4. Branches revisited (e.g. handling conflicts)
5. Working with repository history (as says)
6. Fixing things (resetting, erasing, etc)
7. Moving beyond the basics (exporting, subversion, bare repositories).

For part 1-6, the form of the book fitted very well and it made it a lot more clear. For part 7 however, the form of the book felt restrictive. The examples output was so large that it wasn't shown as it wouldn't fit on the book. Also the explanations became terser. I think that it would have been best to abandon the guide form at this point.

I wasn't new to the topic but found the book a good quick guide. It is small and reads fast (one-day read). It gives a fairly thorough overview of git usage. I'd definitively recommend it for anyone who is coming from other version control systems but is new to git. I was thinking between 3-4 stars. 3 stars as it does what it says and the forcing it in the new form didn't feel good. 4 stars as it does it well and it is the first guide in this new form. In the end, I decided for 4. Good introduction!
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on September 26, 2013
Teaches the basics, the handful of tasks that you will use 80%+ of the time. Not a reference, just a how-to.
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on November 29, 2010
This book kind of reminds me of a "Nutshell" book in that it's a no-nonsense, concise, and useful text. The left-page explanation coupled with the right-page examples is a nice touch. Need to do something? Just hit the Table of Contents to find what you're looking for, read the text to make sure you know what you're doing (always handy) and maybe find out something you didn't know, and then morph the appropriate example(s) into what's right for you - neat!

This is the kind of book you leave lying around within easy reach.
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