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Practical Perforce Paperback – November 28, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
However it is quite *OBSOLETE* at the time of this review (Aug-2012) - and because of that is of marginal use.
A new edition desperately needs to be written. There has been a *lot* of changes since '05 which this book does not cover (p4sandbox for example, streams for another).
I purchased this book and read it from cover to cover (with a little skimming here and there). It is a good book, it is well written and covers the topic reasonably well. For a novice user, it was definitely a boost and I was very pleased.
The author effectively divides the book into two sections. The first part (about 40% of the text) is a basic introduction to Perforce. She covers a variety of topics from the elementary to the more advanced. The second part (60%) of the text provides the author's vision for how Perforce would be used by a mythical company to manage software releases over the life cycle of a product. This part of the book is a little more opinion-oriented--but the author's system is well conceived and worthy of emulation. Your views on branch management, tags, version numbers and releases may vary--but the author has some very good suggestions and user's new to Perforce would be well served by absorbing the information in this book.
My thanks to the author--a job well done.
WARNING: If you are looking to LEARN Perforce, this is not the book for you. This book assumes that you have some experience with this application and its uses. Buyer beware if you pick this book up as a straight teaching tool as it would probably be more beneficial to get up to speed via a fellow engineer before you open up this text. This doesn't take away from this nice book at all, it's just clarification re: the use of it.
It is particularly good on explaining lots of details of how to do branching and merging which is an area a lot of people initially have trouble with. It goes on to identify a variety of scenarios and how to address them that will be invaluable to many people.
I have been working with Perforce since 1997 and provide consultancy and training in the tool and still learnt a number of new things from this book. In particular I will be "borrowing" some of the ways of explaining that Laura uses!
My only quibble is the focus on the use of the command line which might put some people off. Don't let it - if you use Perforce you need this book!
That said, if you find yourself in a situation in which you have no choice but to deal with Perforce, this is a useful book to have. That's partly true because there are no other books. (!) You'll see a few others listed in Amazon, but they're all just bound copies of manuals from the Perforce site. In my opinion, those others are pretty mediocre, by the standards of (say) typical Linux documentation.
Practical Perforce was written in 2005 by Perforce's VP of Product Technology. As such, it's partly an advertisement for Perforce, especially the first chapters. But in places the book is frank about Perforce's problems (albeit perhaps unintentionally).
Some of the partisan material will draw guffaws from knowing users. For example, the bit about Open Source software being hell to install, versus the ease with which commercial software just works out of the box. Other bits are a little arresting, as the author cannot have realized that the seeds of Perforce's demise were being planted even as the book was being written. Git and Mercurial were both released in 2005.
One of the worst things about Perforce is the confusing and ill-considered way they name the various concepts and commands. What you might call a workspace, Perforce wants to call a "client". And as the book says, "the P4 branch command does not branch files" and "the P4 label command does not label files".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very dated now on the Perforce specifics. But worth the money for the chapters about software development, branching, merging and change management generally (which can be... Read morePublished 10 months ago by CMG
Practical Perforce is an excellent introductory to intermediate text for those who might use the Perforce application. Read morePublished on November 18, 2008 by Leonard T. Steiner
Or anyone else who has any input into their company's software control decisions. (Or pretty much anyone using Perforce, or thinking about using Perforce, etc. Read morePublished on July 2, 2008 by W. Ivey
I found this book a better resource for learning Perforce over the online documentation. It offers a good variety of source management situations and how to use Perforce in them.Published on December 12, 2007 by Michael A. Klem
This book was better than I expected, because it not only explains how to use Perforce, but it covers handling branches in general using the "Tofu model" of softer to firmer... Read morePublished on October 29, 2007 by Chris
As the title suggests, this is a how-to guide for doing Software Configuration Management with Perforce, but there's more. Read morePublished on October 21, 2007 by Steve Berczuk
Well, I'm disappointed. I'm new to Perforce and found Perforce's documentation a bit unwieldy so I thought this book would help. I was wrong. Read morePublished on September 2, 2007 by GameMaker
If you have used perforce a little bit but are unsure how to make the best of it or learn more effective ways of using some of the more powerful features I recommend this. Read morePublished on August 19, 2007 by M. Asfaw