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CVS Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) Paperback – 28 Aug 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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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Format: Paperback
CVS is very different from the 'usual' source code control systems which 'lock' files out and then 'check in' later. Instead CVS lets anyone have a file and the bun fight happens when the files are checked in - with files being merged. This book cleared that up for me on page 7 under 'gotchas', great. The rest was a disappointment to me. I'd hoped to get a better overview of how CVS works/gets-used which I know isn't a fair thing to ask of a 'reference' book but its Hobson's choice at the moment. Unfortunately the editors have failed the book as a reference since there isn't an index and the table of contents list just 5 headings! The descriptions of commands need more examples and explanation for my liking too.
Still, can't beat the price :-)
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Format: Paperback
I know this is supposed to be a pocked reference, but one of the most irritating things about a lot of O'Reilly publictions is the lack of those blindingly obvious examples you need for specific commands.
While the book give the format for a command, I can usually get this from Linux man pages - what I really want are real world examples - how to commit a file, how to add a binary file, how to checkout a specific file version. Easy stuff (now!) but tough when you're starting out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x94cb4c54) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94f677ec) out of 5 stars Can't keep up with the O'Reilly standards 28 July 2002
By Marcel Schepers - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94f67840) out of 5 stars Great book, but note the title! 23 Mar. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94f67a14) out of 5 stars Useful; worth the price if you don't like man pages 9 Aug. 2002
By Phil - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94f69060) out of 5 stars Concise, Accurate and Helpful 14 Sept. 2000
By C. Ross - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94f69084) out of 5 stars Almost useless. 20 Jun. 2001
By David Copeland - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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