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Version Control by Example Paperback – July 25, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Version Control by Example may as well be called The Hitchhiker's Guide to Distributed Version Control -- it's a concise and informative compendium that serves as both an introduction and a manual for practical usage of Mercurial, Git, Veracity, and virtually any other version control system. --Alex Papadimoulis, The Daily WTF

Eric covers multiple tools in lighthearted style that makes a potentially dry subject both amusing and understandable. If version control is a new tool in your programmers belt, this book is a great place to start. --Ben Collins-Sussman, Apache Subversion Developer

Version control is a critical tool in the developer's tool chain. So it's disappointing to consider just how few developers actually understand their version control system beyond the minimal incantations required merely to survive a day of coding at the office. Thanks to Eric Sink's new book on the topic, this need be the case no longer. Version Control by Example is organized well, light in tone, yet saturated with practical illustrations of not only how to choose among and use today's most popular free version control tools, but how to do so with efficiency, understanding, and purpose. --C. Michael Pilato, Apache Subversion Developer

Apache Subversion's rise to popularity opened the floodgates for others to explore new features and designs in version control, the most popular being Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS). In a balanced way, this book covers the most popular tools today and whether you should choose a DVCS for your development. --Greg Stein, Apache Subversion Developer

About the Author

Eric Sink, founder of SourceGear, has been developing version control tools for over a decade. He is a popular conference speaker and blogger.

Eric is also the author of Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Apress, 2006).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pyrenean Gold Press; 1 edition (July 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983507902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983507901
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Scott Cate on September 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you're interested in better understanding Version Control Systems (VCS) and Distributed (DVCS). This book builds a scenario of "He does this" and "She does that" back and forth source code changes, merges, commits, etc. And (here is the best part) then the book walks through this same scenario for Subversion, GIT, Mercurial, and Veracity. So if you're already familial with one system, you can walk the scenario with what you know, and then compare it to another system that you're interested in learning.

(To the author) Eric. Great job! I'm looking fwd to seeing what Veracity has to offer, and how you might be able to change+enhance the Version Control system for BLOB (and of course Text, but BLOB especially) storage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Ringrose on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have read on source code control.

The Eric Sink runs a company the sells source code control systems and wrote the book to introduce the concepts, and the differences between source code control systems.

I learned more about effective use of Subversion from this book then from the Subversion docs - so this is a great read whatever source code control system you are using.

Eric Sink blogs has a link to where you can download the book for free, also at present he will mail a free printed copy of it to anyone without any strings attached. See [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Jenkins on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book does a good job comparing and contrasting the various methods of source code control. It has a dash of history to help the reader understand the phases that source code control has gone through. I found the comparison of how to accomplish the same task in all the major modern version control systems to be useful. The writing style is easy to read and never boring with fun subtle references ("BR549"). I enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo Seltzer on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I started looking into DVCS I was initially put off by the apparent complexity of some of the most popular alternatives. I was still trapped in the mindset of central revision systems and interactions through GUIs like Tortoise, and IDE plugins.

This book changed that.

I realised how easy it was to perform the most basic tasks, and slowly began to explore more advanced topics. The fact that the author chose to use the same story to explain common workflows in multiple VCS makes extremely easy to transition between them. Nowadays I use Git, Mercurial and Veracity on a regular basis and any time I forget what command I need to execute, I just run back to this fantastic reference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book is a very good review of several different version control systems, and does a good job of contrasting them and explaining how they work underneath. Very easy read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BrentL on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book which introduces, at just the right level of detail, three 'established' version control systems (Subversion, Mercurial, and git), and a relative 'newcomer', Eric Sink's own Veracity.

Apart from a general introduction to version control and what it's used for, the book has an amusing, but insightful and useful, example of team workflow with a VCS, repeated for each of the four protagonists.

While it is not, I think, a replacement for "the complete manual", it's an excellent guide for anyone who is either thinking of using a version control system, or is thinking of switching from one to another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. R. Kolankiewicz on January 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is a real treat to read. I really like Eric's clear and unambiguous explanations of key concepts in both Centralized Version Control Systems (CVCS) and Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS). His humorous writing style makes this book a breeze to read through. Eric's explanation of the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) and its application to version control and it's pros and cons in comparison to the Linear Model for source control are worth the price of the book along. Very nice work, Eric ... thanks for sharing your expertise in this space!
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Format: Paperback
If you have never worked with version control before, this book is a worthy place to start. It is unusually easy to read and follow. Unlike most books on any sort of technical subject, it isn't very mentally taxing. Even with a brain fog after a long day, I had no trouble understanding it.

Each version control system discussed -- Subversion, Mercurial (hg), Git, and Veracity -- is presented in the same style: a narrative of fictional software developers using each system in their day-to-day work. The prose that accompanies each example is concise and unobtrusive. Each section covers the same basic tasks, like committing, pushing, pulling, merging, and so on. This means you can jump to learning about whichever VC system you like without missing out on important information covered in an earlier section.

If you do decide to read about all four systems, the author changes the wording enough that it doesn't feel like falling into a repetitive rut. I thought that was a nice touch. My comparison of this book with the Rosetta Stone in this review's title stems from the fact that each section covers basically the same thing; if you know how to use one VC system, it's relatively easy to get going with another one. Though, the author doesn't pretend that each version control system is the same. He explains where they differ, in particular the difference between "traditional" version control systems like Subversion, and newer distributed systems like the other three VC systems he discusses.

I would recommend this book to anyone new to version control, or anyone who is already familiar with one of the VC systems presented, but needs a quick, practical introduction to another one.
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