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Pragmatic Version Control: Using Subversion (The Pragmatic Starter Kit Series)(2nd Edition) Paperback – June 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; Second Edition edition (June 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977616657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977616657
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Mason is an Agile Architect with ThoughtWorks where he builds mission critical systems for Fortune 500 clients. Mike has been using Subversion for more than eight years and he has watched it evolve from an excellent-but-niche tool to being an enterprise standard in version control. Mike is the author of Pragmatic Version Control using Subversion.


More About the Author

Mike is an Agile Architect with ThoughtWorks, where he helps Fortune 500 clients use cutting edge techniques to build large enterprise systems. At the moment Mike is very interested in web-as-platform techniques such as REST and ATOM.

Mike grew up in the UK but moved to Calgary, Canada about six years ago. Mike enjoys spending time in the local mountains snowboarding and indulging in his photography hobby. Mike is married with two kids and (when he's had enough sleep!) is very happy with life. He finds it difficult to write about himself in the third person.

Customer Reviews

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See all 27 customer reviews
Excellent book to get kick started on SVN.
R. Seshan
After getting the reader up to speed on version control in general, the book moves progressively deeper into the administration and use of Subversion.
Jim Anderton
I read it cover to cover, which is unusual for me but this book was just that good -- comprehensive and quite easy to understand.
E. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Gunderloy on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Here's a straightforward book with two audiences. First, if you've never actually used version control and you're a bit unsure of why you should and where to start, it provides a gentle introduction to the subject, explaining why this is one of the cornerstones of serious software development. Second, if you are already familiar with version control but thinking of moving to Subversion (particularly if you're already using CVS, the system from which the Subversion designers made their escape) this is the book to get you up and running with a minimum of fuss. The focus is on teaching you how to perform the basic operations that everyone needs to know to use version control efficiently: putting files into a repository, getting them out again, resolving conflicts among multiple developers, handling branches, and so on. You likely won't learn every niggling little detail about Subversion from this book (especially given that it's a program still under active development) but you'll learn plenty enough to get the job done.

After covering the basics of version control and some of the reasons why Subversion is a good choice, Mason shows you how to install things and handle the most basic commands - checking files in and out, and merging changes. He then moves on to larger organizational issues, including tags and branches, multiple repositories, sharing code, and how to handle third-party code. If you've read the earlier Pragmatic Bookshelf title Pragmatic Version Control using CVS you'll find that this book is a port of that one. That is, it includes the same examples, rewritten with Subversion syntax instead of CVS syntax. But it's not always a direct port.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Brigleb on May 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really did get me off on the right foot. It provides a helpful perspective that was invaluable to a Subversion beginner. The tone is just right.

However, as I started running into problems, the book fell flat on its face. I couldn't find anything related to my tasks in the index, and there seems to be no coverage of simple concepts like removing directories or groups of files, nor are there any tips and tricks or scripts that might help to maintain my repository. And though there's coverage of a popular Windows GUI client, there's just no help for Mac developers.

I have to give this book three stars. At this price, my hopes were a lot higher.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Patel on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have been using subversion for over a year now. I bought this book after I was some what familiar with svn aka subversion.

I think this book is very good for someone starting off with subversion. The language is pretty good. You can cover this book in just one day!!!

To summarise:
PROS: Simple & Sweet language
Good examples

CONS: Not advanced

I would recommend the free subversion book over this book if you want to learn advanced techniques with subversion.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. Bien on May 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Quick guide to Subversion, this book took me two sittings to finish reading. I had a subversion server set up and running in no time after the first sitting.

But it doesn't teach you just that, this book also teaches you what a normal project structure looks like. If trunks/branches/tags do not sound familiar to you, you might want to read this book.

If you're already familiar with CVS, though, you might just be fine reading a guide online, instead. Pragmatic Version Control isn't just about how to use the svn command, it's about how to structure your repository, when is it a good idea to branch off a project, why version control is useful, etc. So, if you need a quick guide on how to use Subversion and set up a repository (ie. just for a small school project that probably won't need any branches), you can just read online tutorials.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jim Anderton on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been using CVS for the past few years and have been mostly happy. However, there have been some discussions among developers at my company about moving to Subversion. I was unclear on the differences between CVS and Subversion so I took some time to read Pragmatic Version Control: Using Subversion (The Pragmatic Starter Kit Series)(2nd Edition).

The book begins with some very useful introductory material describing version control in general. I realized while reading that, although I'm a long-time user of CVS, there were some aspects of version control that I was never very clear on. I appreciated these foundational chapters. I also appreciated Mason's sensitivity to the many readers who might have experience with CVS. He frequently points out differences and similarities and explains Subversion functionality in a way CVS users can understand.

After getting the reader up to speed on version control in general, the book moves progressively deeper into the administration and use of Subversion. There is also information on migrating from CVS to Subversion, third party tools, and IDE integration. (I'm in an IBM shop and am looking forward to trying out the Subclipse plugin to integrate Subversion into IBM's Rational Application Developer.) This book will give you everything you need to get up and running quickly. But, it will also give you much more. If you're interested in exploring every nook and cranny of Subversion, you won't be disappointed.

In the end, I discovered that the Subversion project was started by a team of developers with significant CVS experience. They felt that CVS was an aging platform and wanted to build a new, high-performance, version control system that would also fix of all CVS's shortcomings.
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