Most helpful positive review
excellent, invaluable, not enough about permissions
on August 20, 2001
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.