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on 20 November 2010
This is the kind of book you would like to have on many software products: it's informative without dumbly repeating online help material, it's practical but also looks at the big picture, with historical notes etc., it's complete without being excessively thick.

It gives you the headstart in Git that is currently a bit difficult to have by just browsing randomnly on Git related websites.

In particular, I found particularly interesting the initial part that outlines the "behind the scenes" architecture and inner workings of Git; I wish the author expanded that chapter even further! Plus, seeing how things are implemented often help also on the practical side. I wouldn't be too worried to scare the audience as it's going to be rather technical anyway!
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on 19 May 2011
Unlike the O'Reilly book on Mercurial which gets you up and running in a day, this book lists all details and internals of git but says nothing that will actually get you going and using git. It will show you git internals before you even know how to navigate though the commits you've made. I think it could be useful for someone who knows git already but as a beginner with git I find it horrible.
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on 31 July 2009
I've just finished this book. I was struck by the clear and calm tone of the writing, by someone who obviously knows Git inside out and upside down. Having read it, I feel like I'm ready to go gitting with confidence, but I know there's more here to come back to once I start to get some experience under my belt. The book is strong on the theory but strong on the practice too.
I also read Travis Swicegood's Git book. It's a straightforward, practical read and it will get you up and running - but it won't give you the depth of understanding you'll get from Loeliger.
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on 28 December 2010
I have been using SVN for some time while developing on the Mac and each new day working with it made me hate it even more...
I thus gave a try to Git (and Github!) and directly fell in love with it!
While Git is a smart tool that often leads you to do the right thing, it has quite an extensive set of features and having a reference such as this book will make your journey through Git so much more fun and easy.
While being a 300-page book about revision control (not the sexiest topic you may say!), you can easily read it cover to cover (I did it in a couple of days) since the author prose is easy to follow and he presents topics in such a way that when you finish a chapter, you want to know more and keep reading!
I highly recommend this book!
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on 21 April 2011
I was completely new to revision control systems when I first bought this book (and that is probably an important point to consider on reading this review). Once I decided in favor of using Git (instead of Subversion) it took me just a week to realize I needed a good book about it. There is a lot of documentation online, but it was clear to me that I was just following commands to do this or that without really understanding what was happening.

This book is very good to give you an insight on how Git really works. I saw other reviews stating that there are deeper, more detailed books, but this was perfectly fine for me, I don't feel I need further reading on that respect of understanding how Git works.

The first pages and Chapter 4 in particular (Basic Git concepts) are by far the best. This is where Jon tells you about the concepts of Repositories, Object types, the Index, and the Object Store. For me, once I got the picture of how the Index and the Store with its different Objects worked, the rest was just a matter of memorizing some commands.

And that is where the book failed a bit for me. After you grasp how Git works, reading the rest of the book from start to end didn't make much sense to me (although I did read most of it this way, I just didn't memorize it all!). But this isn't a very good book as a reference to keep at hand either. It takes quite a bit to find how to do this or that. It is all there of course, it is just not laid out as a quick reference, so I either take my time to read a few pages about the problem at hand or, more often, I just check the online docs.

Even with that drawback, I wouldn't hesitate to by this book if you are in a similar position as I was.
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on 5 April 2011
I brought this book as I wanted to move from my old fashioned Version Control System to something more modern, portable and would work across the net as I need to use multiple OS's for deveopment. I feel I have a good grounding in computers with a CS degree, 25 years of experience and a solid programming background, (I'm currently writing a commercial compiler). I've also been around long enough to see the same old ideas tarted up and sold as new technology (SOA anybody?).

At first when I read the book, I thought Git was so different and clever, it needed a whole new way of thinking. I read most of the book, though what I really wanted was a simple guide to get going, to understand the workflow of working with files, doing the equivalent of checking in, checking out, and generally ensuring I kept good copies of my work using a private git remote repository.

Well after three weeks of using this book plus the Internet I have to say it's beaten me. The book doesn't explain simple concepts very well, it explains in intricate detail all sorts of detailed technical information that actually is not needed, but missed out on the simple things needed to get going. Remote repositories are about 3/4 of the way through the book, the section is pretty sparse, it's almost as if the author just needed to keep going and was more concerned with quantity of the pages rather than the quality. My understanding of git is that it is incredibly powerful for working with remote and disconnected groups of users, if that's the case then this sort of workflow should be up front and centre rather than towards the back. I still can't work out why I need a bare repository for remote working. It may be incredibly powerful and drive kernel development, but all the book seems to show is the complexity and not the power.

Other comments I have seen on Git itself seem to reflect this experience, very powerful, very complex and not easy for novices to get started with.

In some respects the book mirrors the state of git itself, you need to be an expert in using git and then I'm sure the book is simple and easy. If you aren't an expert, then this book will not help you, I cannot recommend it based on my experience as all it has done has made me use another VCS (or DVCS as git would describe itself).

It may be fantastic for experienced users who need to get to the next level, but for simple folk like me, it simply didn't work. Perhaps I should have got Git for Dummies :)

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on 28 September 2009
Very impressed. Before reading I had minimal knowledge of Git. This book takes you through all stages of Git usage from beginner all the way to some advanced tasks.

Great to read from front to back and a well created index for reference.
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