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Essential CVS 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920527039
ISBN-10: 0596527039
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Essential CVS does what you might think would be a small job more effectively and more comprehensively than I would have imagined, even allowing for the generally high standard of O'Reilly books. Apart from covering the boring stuff well, it has two big advantages over the Web: it backs up its discussion of various CVS functions with wise advice and policies on why and how to use these facilities - plus it provides readable (and, presumably, tested) examples. Computing sciences prizes abstraction and generalities; computing practice should, like this book, be informed by concrete specifics and sensible rules-of-thumb." - Damian Counsell, news@UK, December 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Version Control and Source Code Management
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 430 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (November 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527037
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I administer our CVS server at work. We use CVS in the traditional way, to manage source code from a group of people working together on multiple projects. Before this book, I didn't have a single reference that explained all the basic functionality of CVS. Now, when someone has a question, I can pass along this book for a quick answer.
Most of the things you'll do with CVS are covered in sufficient detail in this book. I do agree with the reviewer who mentioned this is not the perfect reference for some tasks - like merging branches. This book will, however, give you all the background information you'll need so that you can effectively research complex topics like this on the web. The title is appropriate - 'essential CVS.' It's not 'everything there is to know about CVS' - and that's a strength of the book. It makes it small enough that the average developer can read the 'quickstart,' and have a basic understanding of how things work. They can then use the more detailed chapters to gain further information. Only the CVS administrator will need a little more. Even for them, this book will be a handy reference.
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Format: Paperback
Being part of the "Essential" series, this book doesn't pretend to be the ultimate reference on the subject, but it delivers an effective coverage of CVS. The author start from scratch and goes up to explain more advanced features like tagging and branching. In my opinion the way chapters are organized is not ideal and there is some redundancy here and there, notwithstanding these shortcomings, I would recommend it. Just be advised the whole book is totally Unix centric and all the samples cover only command-line usage.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a low-cost entry into the world of version control software, the open source CVS package is a very logical choice. But like most open source packages, the documentation is less than perfect if you want something more than just a reference manual for learning purposes. It's at this point you need a book that explains a bit more about the why's of what you need to do. This book fills that gap nicely.

The target audience is both users and administrators of the system. Vesperman starts out with an explanation of what version management and source control systems are, and then goes into the usage of CVS for those different groups. And if you are thinking that CVS is just for managing code, think again. CVS can be used to manage any document types, such as code, documentation, images, etc.

If you're using Websphere Application Development Studio (WSAD), the CVS package has an interface built right in. You select that option during WSAD installation, and the right perspectives are added to your environment. You will still need to have a CVS server set up somewhere to manage the source files, and this book will be very helpful in aiding you during that process.

Since CVS is based on the Unix platform, all the examples in the book are set up to use command line interfaces to the functions. Vesperman uses plenty of scripts to show you how to accomplish all the functions, which is great. In my case, I'll be using WSAD to work with CVS as a developer, so many of those examples were wasted on me. Still, the concepts behind CVS and the general capabilities of the package are covered well, so a read-through on this book will benefit you either way.

For Notes/Domino developers, there is no interface you can use for this package.
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Format: Paperback
Essential CVS by Jennifer Vesperman is a very informative book on CVS ever published. Most developers working with CVS - Concurrent Versions System - will appreciate tips, tricks details provided by the author. It covers all the aspects of managing projects using CVS that most of us will ever need.
I especially appreciate the author's discussion on tagging and branching strategies. She compares available branching strategies, talks about pros and cons of each in details to help you pick the one you see more fit.
She also provides tips and tricks, ranging from absurd (such as switching your sandbox by editing your CVS/Repository file) to intimidating (such as playing with the repositories directly). These tips will help you understand the system's internals, which hopefully will result in productivity (if not in disaster).
At first, I found her discussions a bit redundant - you can read the same point repeated several times on the same page or the same chapter over and over. Although it annoyed me to some extent, people not familiar with CVS may appreciate this feature of the book.
She assumes her audience to be familiar with UNIX systems. Although I'm fine with it (I live in Linux), others may not be. Most of the UNIX-related chat are found in her file-utility commands, as well as bash scripts, in addition to some user account/group management.
The organization and writing style of the book is far from ideal. CVS itself is a very exciting topic for software developers. The author of Essential CVS fails to reflect this in her discussions. Her discussions are close to manpage-style, with some detour onto tips and suggestions from time to time.
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