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Practical Subversion (Expert's Voice in Open Source) 2nd ed. 2007 Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590597538
ISBN-10: 1590597532
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews of the second edition:

"Subversion is one of the hottest tools to appear recently in configuration management … . The book is well organized and easy to consume, particularly for the software practitioner with no prior Subversion knowledge. … There are definite bright spots in this book, particularly for the Subversion novice, who probably should keep a copy close at hand as an excellent reference. The book has also made me look forward to new developments that address the limitations in Subversion itself … ." (Marc S. Gibian, ACM Computing Reviews, September, 2008)

About the Author

Garrett Rooney is a software engineer on the version control team at CollabNet, where he works full time on Subversion and other related technologies. Rooney attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he managed to complete three years towards a mechanical engineering degree before coming to his senses and realizing he wanted to get a job where someone would pay him to play with computers. Since then, Rooney completed a computer science degree at RPI and has spent far too much time working on a wide variety of open source projects, most notably Subversion. He's also a member of the Apache Software Foundation, where he works on the Apache Portable Runtime and the Apache HTTP Server, as well as helps to maintain the ASF Subversion repository.

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2nd ed. 2007 edition (November 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597538
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The second edition of Practical Subversion has been updated, but not substantially changed. The new edition has somewhat higher production quality and editing. The reference material on the various svn subcommands has been updated to be more current. This is very important because the first edition was badly out-of-date in this area.

The book has many good features, such as the "Best Practices" chapter, the comparison of Subversion against other version control systems. and the API documentation. These sections have been cleaned up and, in a few cases, extended to provide a real benefit to the reader.

Unfortunately, I don't think the book went far enough with the practical "guide" content. More information about how to use version control and the special features of Subversion in particular would have been a better use of space than repeating the reference material that can be had freely on-line.

Like the first edition, this book tries to be both a solid reference and a practical guide. Unfortunately, the authors do not separate these two missions in the book. This leads to a kind of split personality, where the practical advice is interrupted by reference material and vice versa. I found this to be a bit distracting, and think it prevents this from being a great book.

That being said, this is a good book that covers Subversion quite well. I have recommended it to people already on the strength of the "Best Practices" chapter alone. If you are using Subversion, the practical usage information in this book should help you make better use of the tool.If you are considering using Subversion, the comparison of Subversion against other tools is a very important resource.

Although I think the structure of the book could be improved, I still don't mind recommending the book.
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Format: Paperback
The version control system known as Subversion is quickly taking over the title of open source leader from the old standby, CVS. If you already have some background knowledge in version control systems and you want to start using Subversion, the book Practical Subversion (Second Edition) by Daniel Berlin and Garrett Rooney would be a good way to transition yourself over...


Introducing Subversion; A Crash Course in Subversion; Repository Administration; Migrating from Other Version Control Systems; Advanced Apache Integration; Best Practices; Integrating Subversion with Other Tools; Using the Subversion APIs; Subversion Command Glossary; Subversion Compared to Other Version Control Systems; Index

Unlike some books that cover version control systems (either generally or one in particular), this one doesn't try and take you from ground zero to expert. While there is some background material, the overall tone is one that assumes you are functionally literate on the subject and are particularly interested in Subversion. While that might limit the potential audience a bit, it makes it much more focused and valuable for those who want to bypass entry level material. The chapters cover both administrative and user-based functions, but tend to be a bit more heavy on the setup and administration end. For something that could be a rather dry subject, the authors do a good job in keeping things moving forward and interesting. I also found the chapter on version control system comparison to be valuable. All systems are *not* the same, and there are some underlying structural differences that will have a significant impact on what does and doesn't convert over, should you choose to switch systems.

All in all, a good book on Subversion, and one that will get you started in the right direction.
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Format: Paperback
"Practical Subversion" is a great book for repository administrators starting to use Subversion. If you are just planning to use Subversion as a tool, most of the book won't be relevant to you.

The authors cast a wide net in what they cover. They start with Subversion basics - commands and creating a repository. More advanced concepts are quickly covered including security, logging and other tools. I particularly liked the chapter on best practices. They describe the pros and cons when there are two valid approaches. Many of these practices aren't specific to Subversion, but all are important to consider.

Subversion is compared to CVS and Perforce throughout the book. I understand why they chose CVS as it is an open source tool and the predecessor to Subversion. I'm still puzzled why they chose Perforce. Maybe because it has the concept of a "changeset" or one of the authors had experience with it or something else entirely. In the migration section, other tools were also covered including Visual Source Safe.

With open source projects, I like books that aren't just the documentation in book form. For this project, it is an even greater challenge as the documentation is a book ("Version Control with Subversion.") For the commands and daily use, the online documentation is equivalent. For repository administrators and migration issues, this book really shines. The book also expands on the documentation nicely in the area of calling Subversion APIs from C, Perl and Python.
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