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CVS Pocket Reference [Paperback]

Gregor N. Purdy
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 28 2003 0596005679 978-0596005672 Second Edition

The beauty of open source is making code freely available. The curse is trying to organize the chaos that code development can evolve into. CVS, the Concurrent Version System, is an open source tool for managing and distributing source code. It allows multiple users dispersed over a wide geographic area to work on the same file at the same time, using a shared directory. Under CVS, multiple users can check out files from a directory tree, make changes, and then commit those changes back into the directory. CVS is a pivotal tool on many projects involving information or software, whether in-house or conducted over the Internet.The CVS Pocket Reference is a quick reference guide to help administrators and users set up and manage source code development. This small book delivers the core concepts of version control along with a complete command reference and guide to configuration and repository set up. The book includes:

  • A version control primer that teaches the general concepts of version control and how it applies to CVS.
  • Instructions on how to install and configure CVS for Unix®-like operating systems.
  • Administrator and user sections, with complete listings of their respective commands and options for configuring and using CVS.
  • Details on how to import files from RCS and SCCS directories into CVS.
  • References to related useful materials.
Much more than a quick list of commands and options, this little book is packed with a surprising amount of detail--including an overview of background concepts, thorough descriptions on how to use and administer a CVS repository, and discussions of CVS-related files and how to manage them--all in a convenient reference format. This edition covers the CVS 1.11 and includes new commands for querying a central CVS repository, new configuration parameters, and new options for setting up a server for remote access. The book is a perfect companion for open source developers. The CVS Pocket Reference also contains tips on common tasks, such as converting projects from other revision control formats to CVS. It's an absolute must for developers who need an on-the-job guide for quick answers to CVS dilemmas.

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From Amazon

CVS is the Open Source Concurrent Version System. Its purpose is to enable one or more people to work on a program without falling over each other and without losing track of code changes. CVS Pocket Reference deals with CVS version 1.10.8, which includes all the functionality of RCS, which isn't covered other than to tell you how to import files from it. It includes a short history of CVS, how to get it, install it, run it and use it. It also covers the use of sandboxes--directories used just for development--and how to restructure a CVS tree manually. CVS is basically command line driven, and as with so many Open Source applications even its options have options. These are covered in exhaustive detail including obsolete and deprecated options.

Any programmer can easily learn to use CVS effectively from this reference, but its real attraction is the tiny size--it actually does fit in a pocket--and friendly format. Pocket references are also ideal for handing to those irritating people who constantly ask for the same information over and over again, relying on you to remember it for them. At the price, it is worth buying just for the peace and quiet. --Steve Patient --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A good resource for anyone wanting to learn about working with CVS.' Linux Format, Xmas issue, Rating 7/10 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
This pocket reference summarises the basics of CVS. It's enough to get you going, but I wouldn't rely on it for a major project. The explanation of how CVS works is short; the part I've found most useful is the handy table of CVS commands and options in the second half of the book.
However, there is extensive online documentation for CVS that goes into far greater depth than this book, is more up to date, and is free. Even though I've had the book, I've still needed to refer to this online documentation to learn the finer points of tags, branching, and other CVS features.
So it's really a matter of whether you want to pay to have some (but not all) useful information in a handy booklet. If that appeals to you, great, this isn't a bad book. But you can certainly live without it by using your computer as a reference tool.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Full of info, but lousy as a reference Oct. 9 2000
This is the first O'Reilly book I have ever bought that has thoroughly frustrated and disappointed me. It has all the information you need to administer and use CVS correctly, but the problem is finding that information. Amazingly, O'Reilly negelected to include an index, and the table of contents of this 75 page book has just five entries.
To make things worse, cross-references include only section names or table numbers, not page numbers. For instance, on p. 18, you read "The legal values for -k are described in Table 19." It will probably take you a while to find Table 19, because it's 30 pages away on p. 48.
Similarly, on p. 39, you read this cryptic cross-reference: "See also the 'Repository Structure' section." I still haven't found it.
Save your money and read the man pages.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Almost useless. June 19 2001
This does not do CVS justice and is a terrible reference. I give it two stars just for existing, but it doesn't provide anything you can't get from cvs -H. As such, this should be a reference based around what you want to do with CVS, not just the syntax of the commands (which you can easily get from cvs itself). For example, to find out how to make a bugfix branch is impossible. I don't think it's even mentioned. It's way easier to consult the official documentation. There's not even an index or any way to quickly look up anything, and the book is only 75 pages!
If you want a real CVS reference, print out the official docs. It has much better info, serves as a great reference, and has an index as well as table of contents (neither of which are in this book).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Can't keep up with the O'Reilly standards July 28 2002
This book fails to be a pocket reference. The book's index is a joke and as a result your topic of interest is not listed or, and that is a major drawback for reference books, discussed somewhere else. And if you find your topic the information presented is often not sufficient to answer your question. Although I keep this book within arm reach on my desk, I always use the web for my CVS questions. My advice for people with basic CVS knowledge and the ability to use CVS from the command line: search the web and pick one of the many CVS related web sites as your starting point for more information on CVS. This books does not keep up with the O'Reilly standards and is therefor best ignored.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but note the title! March 23 2001
This is a great reference book. Note the title, it is a small, pocket sized concise _reference_ guide. It assumes that you already understand CVS and its functionality, and just need something to grab to look up that obscure command that you rarely use. It is exactly as advertised, and lives up to O'Reilly's good name.
O'Reilly unfortunately doesn't have a full blown book on CVS yet. In the meantime I recommend Open Source Development With CVS by Karl Franz Fogel, also available on Amazon.com.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Concise, Accurate and Helpful Sept. 14 2000
By C. Ross
If you are looking for a great quick reference guide for CVS... this is it. "CVS Pocket Reference" provides a substantial amount of information for those already familiar with the CVS tool.
If this is your first experience with CVS, this is not the book for you. However, if you have used CVS in the past... perfect reference tool.
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