November 16, 2006
Essential CVS:Using Version Control to Apply Order to Collaborative Work
Sebastopol, CA--CVS, the Concurrent Versions System, is the popular
version tracking system that frees developers and other collaborators from
the chaos that too often ensues when multiple users work on the same file.
Version control is usually mentioned in the context of software
development, but according to Jennifer Vesperman, author of Essential CVS, Second Edition (O'Reilly, US $44.99), CVS can be used in many
environments for many purposes: maintaining configuration files, mail
aliases, source code, FAQ files, art, music, essays, and books. In the new
edition of her book, Vesperman shows how to apply CVS to these types of
projects and others.
"The book as a whole is targeted to anyone who wants to keep track of
creative work, or any work which is subject to change and can be stored as
files in a computer," says Vesperman. She explains that teams who use
version control--any form of version control--will have a much easier time
with their projects in the long run. For instance, they won't lose data
because of one person overwriting another's work, they'll be able to
locate just when a particular bug was fixed, or they'll be able to roll
back to a point before code was added that caused a build to break.
Vesperman also notes that it's an excellent time for an update to her
book: "CVS has some amazing new features, including proxying, additional
hooks for third-party programs, and experimental support for PAM," she
says. "In addition, with the proliferation of new source control program
out there, people need to be able to compare the reliable old workhorse
(CVS) with some of the new young racehorses, and find out which suits them
better. There's lots of life left in the old workhorse!"
- Essential CVS is ideal for software developers tracking different
versions of the same code.
- The new edition has been expanded to explain common usages for CVS for
system administrators, project managers, writers, and anyone who manages
files that change often.
- Contains comprehensive coverage of CVS version 1.12, with a quick start
guide and FAQ for getting CVS up and running.
- Advanced coverage of topics like release tagging, branching, and
connecting to remote repositories.
- Real-world examples using graphical CVS clients to run CVS commands.
Vesperman considers her book unique among the many texts written about
"The official documentation exists, of course, and is complete, but it has
no tutorial section. Something else was needed: a well designed complete
reference, something that gives beginners the leg up they need, that
explains the advanced features, and gives project managers and system
administrators the information they need to really use CVS well. Writing a
book for all those audiences was a challenge, and I've made compromises,
but I think I've achieved it."
Jennifer Vesperman works with Cybersource, and Australian IT consulting
firm. She is the current coordinator for LinuxChix, an advocacy and
support group that focuses on women who use and develop open source
Background and Market Information:
Essential CVS, Second Edition
ISBN: 0-596-52703-9, 406 pages, $44.99 US, $58.99 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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