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5.0 out of 5 stars very useful examples concerning tagging and branching
I've used cvs for a couple of years, but have never really needed tagging or branching until I became a developer on the [...] project. Then, we needed it. Tagging and branching were difficult to grasp for me. This book was critical in helping me to understand what tagging and branching were and how to do use those features.
Aside from that, the main reason I like...
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by Perry Tew

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3.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't get past the setup part
The book looks to be well written with lots of details, but I feel the first few introductory pages are insufficiently detailed which prevented me from setting things up. Specifically:
* The examples don't say whether your supposed to be in or above the working directory for various cvs commands. The reader is supposed to assume that current directory for this...
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Benjamin Slade


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3.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't get past the setup part, Nov. 15 2003
By 
Benjamin Slade (Chevy Chase, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Open Source Development with CVS (Paperback)
The book looks to be well written with lots of details, but I feel the first few introductory pages are insufficiently detailed which prevented me from setting things up. Specifically:
* The examples don't say whether your supposed to be in or above the working directory for various cvs commands. The reader is supposed to assume that current directory for this example is the same place as the current directory at the end of the previous example, but nothing says that. (it's obvious once you know).
* The overview chapter only talks about importing a whole directory tree. It's not clear how to add a directory or a file to an already imported directory tree. Actually, it's explained 20 pages later, but I didn't find that for a while.
* I made a mistake and imported a working dir subdirectory as a top level directory in the central cvs repository. There's no quick overview commands for removing setup mistakes. (Actually, that's shown about 30 pages after the overview). The book doesn't say that importing a subdirectory if you're in the subdirectory, makes it a top level directory in the CVS repository.
I'm sure once I understand what's going on, it'll be obvious. But to do my basic directory setup, and cleanup from a mistake, I had to wade through all sorts of "once it's working" text to find what I wanted.
Also, in the Removing Directories section, he keeps referring to directories without saying whether he's referring to directories in the user tree or under the CVS repository tree.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very useful examples concerning tagging and branching, Oct. 29 2003
By 
Perry Tew (Atlanta, GA) - See all my reviews
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I've used cvs for a couple of years, but have never really needed tagging or branching until I became a developer on the [...] project. Then, we needed it. Tagging and branching were difficult to grasp for me. This book was critical in helping me to understand what tagging and branching were and how to do use those features.
Aside from that, the main reason I like this book so much is that _everything_ has example code to go with it. Even better is that the output from every command is displayed as well. I found myself executing the commands and then comparing the output. I would highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book.. Great Examples, Oct. 18 2002
By 
A. Valentine (Ardmore, PA) - See all my reviews
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I was looking a good guide and reference for CVS, so I decided to pick up this book. Overall, I think this book does a good job of going through most of CVS's features, however I think there could of been a little more detail in the administration section and dealing with permissions. I was pleasantly surprised that besides covering CVS, this book gives some great background in to the OSS movement and the advantages of OSS in general. I would also like to thank the authors and the publisher for deciding to put most of the meatier chapters on-line, its nice to see people practicing what they preach.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Better resources on-line, July 24 2002
By 
J. West "jwest" (MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This book was a real disappointment. I doesn't cover all the features of CVS and lacks detailed examples. I've found better (and free) documentation on the web. Also, with the release of CVS 1.11, this book is slightly out of date. The authors spend more time covering topics like Open Source development and why you should design for portability instead of showing how you can use CVS to manage a really large software project. While they discuss the mechanics of branching, they don't cover things like branching strategies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, invaluable, not enough about permissions, Aug. 20 2001
By 
Robert Nagle "idiotprogrammer (idiotprogramme... (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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Open Source Development with CVS Karl Fogel
Here is a chatty discussion of CVS and how to use it. The best thing about the book is that he spends a lot of time discussing his examples. That helps you to understand the output. I also found the troubeshooting section to be more than adequate, and a discussion of pcl-cvs (the plugin to emacs) to be a nice and helpful addition.
Fogel wrote some chapters about open source development. Call them filler or distractions, still it gives insight about how version control management contributes to open source. . The book has an appendix of descriptions of each command and at times Fogel urges the reader to refer to the Cederqvist manual. I actually appreciated that because it allowed Fogel to write about the things not already found in the online manual.
One quibble was with the organization of the book. To learn how to setup CVS from scratch, you need to start by reading chapter 4 (Admin), and then go back and reread chapter 2 (An overview). Maybe a briefer overview would have been better and an explanation of the functions in succeeding chapters.
The chattiness of the chapters (which is a good thing) often made it hard to find the user commands. Perhaps user input could have been highlighted in some way. Also, the discussion of file permissions was simply inadequate. Indeed, chapter 4 contained an error related to permissions on page 112 (what does "+R" mean? ) and didn't discuss sticky bits for group ownership. This was significant, because I couldn't proceed with learning CVS until I could figure out those permissions.
In short: an excellent, invaluable book, but you should consult the Cederqvist manual for the section of file permissions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, invaluable, not enough about permissions, Aug. 20 2001
By 
Robert Nagle "idiotprogrammer (idiotprogramme... (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Open Source Development with CVS Karl Fogel
Here is a chatty discussion of CVS and how to use it. The best thing about the book is that he spends a lot of time discussing his examples. That helps you to understand the output. I also found the troubeshooting section to be more than adequate, and a discussion of pcl-cvs (the plugin to emacs) to be a nice and helpful addition.
Fogel wrote some chapters about open source development. Call them filler or distractions, still it gives insight about how version control management contributes to open source. . The book has an appendix of descriptions of each command and at times Fogel urges the reader to refer to the Cederqvist manual. I actually appreciated that because it allowed Fogel to write about the things not already found in the online manual.
One quibble was with the organization of the book. To learn how to setup CVS from scratch, you need to start by reading chapter 4 (Admin), and then go back and reread chapter 2 (An overview). Maybe a briefer overview would have been better and an explanation of the functions in succeeding chapters.
The chattiness of the chapters (which is a good thing) often made it hard to find the user commands. Perhaps user input could have been highlighted in some way. Also, the discussion of file permissions was simply inadequate. Indeed, chapter 4 contained an error related to permissions on page 112 (what does "+R" mean? ) and didn't discuss sticky bits for group ownership. This was significant, because I couldn't proceed with learning CVS until I could figure out those permissions.
In short: an excellent, invaluable book, but you should consult the Cederqvist manual for the section of file permissions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good one!, July 20 2001
By 
Ragnvald Larsen (Trondheim Norway) - See all my reviews
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A bit much focus on the commandoline CVS-version. Bautifull chapter about being in charge of an OpenSource project. Good one!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, in my humble opinion, June 7 2001
By 
john christian (fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
First off, I would have to say that you'll (or, at least, I did get) get the most out of this book if you read the Per Cederqvist (sp?) manual either beforehand or concurrently. This book uses more of a tutorial, heavily example-oriented approach, whereas the Cederqvist goes feature-by-feature, with small examples. And, before you gripe about the wealth of open-source info in this book, remember that CVS was originally created (at least so I've heard, don't quote me word for word here) to facilite decentralized open-source development. So, that considered, it is infact not at all out of place in this book, and in my case, just as interesting as the rest of the book. I'm a novice config mgr, and I've only been using unix, and more specifically GNU/Linux software for under a year now, but as my skills progress, I'll definately get more involved in the free software movement.
This book in some ways, starts where the Cederqvist leaves off, providing a much needed (for me), and much higher-level exposition of CVS's key features. For example, I didn't really get the 'update -j' semantics until I read this book. Not long afterward, I was writing a lengthy script to automate branch merges, and efter re-reading this book, I found out that you could, infact pass -j to checkout as well, and took a good 40% off of the overhead of my script. CVS wrappers such as log.pl and others are nicely described here as well. True, this book doesn't make the perfect reference, but I've found myself many-a-time frantically flipping through its pages to find out why something I'm doing Isn't working!
But, this book may soon become obsolete, by its author no less. Karl Fogel is part of a development team working on a much desired replacement for cvs. There should be more details at 'subversion.tigris.org' (check out the rest of tigris.org while you're at it)... I'm not sure what state it's in right now, but several months ago I tried checking out the sources to it on a i586 Linux box (i think the sources are covered by the apache license), and was unfortunately not able to build it (oversight on my part?). But, it's up there, for anyone who wants it, and by now it's probably a lot better than when I tried it. Can't wait for the full release :)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good to learn CVS but Open Source Dev Stuff Out of Place, May 25 2001
This seems like a good book for learning CVS, but the chapters devoted to Open Source Development seem out of place. Granted, the author ties it in since CVS is so widely used for Open Source Development, but that's where the association ends. I believe that the chapters on how to use CVS are available online, so if you want to learn CVS, you may not even have to buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible, May 5 2001
By 
Collin Starkweather (Boulder, Colorado USA) - See all my reviews
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This book has 2 aims:
1) To give you all of the knowledge you need to use and administer CVS, and
2) To provide you with insight on the Open Source movement and management of an Open Source project
On both accounts, Kurt does a top-notch job. His explanations for (1) were detailed, provided command-line input and output to leave no question as to what's supposed to happen, and the language was familiar and easy to read. It is thus far a head above any other book on CVS I've found. His thoughts on (2) obviously showed a strong familiarity with Open Source combined with a realistic and analytical view that I would liken to combining parts of The Cathedral and the Bazaar with an instruction manual.
I highly recommend it. I'd buy it again if I didn't already own it ;-)
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Open Source Development with CVS
Open Source Development with CVS by Karl Fogel (Paperback - July 1 2003)
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