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Subversion Version Control: Using the Subversion Version Control System in Development Projects
by William Nagel

Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
May 2005
368 pages

Reviewed by Ernest Friedman-Hill, July 2005
  (8 of 10)

This is a straightforward book on a straightforward topic. Subversion is an open-source version control (VC) system conceived as a replacement for CVS. While improving on CVS in a number of ways, it nonetheless feels comfortable and familiar to CVS users. Furthermore, because it avoids some of CVS's worst "gotchas", it's easier for VC novices to learn. Nagel writes this book for both of these audiences in a plain, easy to read style.

As expected, the book covers the basic concepts of VC software, offers comparisons between Subversion and several other VC systems, and discusses Subversion's command set in detail. But the most valuable part of the book are the numerous discussions throughout of practical approaches to working in a VC environment and to managing a Subversion repository. There's some great material on how VC practices and development methodologies affect each other, and there are some detailed case studies of individual companies and how they use Subversion -- right down to the details of the client software, repository layout, and automation scripts that they use. There's always a danger that a book documenting a specific software package will simply duplicate material that's already in the manual; that really doesn't happen here.

Prospective Subversion users -- whether they're coming from a CVS or SourceSafe environment, or if they're new to VC all together -- won't go wrong with this book.

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