Essential CVS review

Thanks to our partnership with O'Reilly, I had the opportunity to read the book Essential CVS by Jennifer Vesperman. The purpose of this book is to be a complete and accessible reference about CVS. The reviews on the O'Reilly website are excellent. A book that looks promising.

The audience

Everyone will be able to learn something:

Good and complete content

Although lots of people think that CVS is outdated today, it is still a very good software. And a lots of projects are using it today, like the *BSD's.

This book is a very complete introduction. Its scope goes from the simplest to the most complex use of CVS. Each part of the book about the basic usage are very detailed, allowing the beginners to properly understand everything.

A very valuable thing is that the author describes extensively the internal mechanisms. In particular the operation of RCS, which CVS is based upon.

The administration of a CVS server is extensively covered. Many ways of managing a project are described. The automatic script execution is also addressed, although this feature is largely under-used. If you are interested in CVS to manage your projects, you should read this part of the book.

Some bad points ...

But this book is not perfect. I think the author should have talked more about the mistakes that can be made with CVS. Particularly on big projects. Sometimes the book spins out. A more efficient style would have been welcome in some chapters.

The FAQ at the end of the book seems to be useless, since there are many FAQ's around the web which answer the same questions. Likewise the book includes a commands reference whereas most installations come with an electronic manual...

An excellent book!

Despite the waste of paper, this book should fulfill the needs of everybody interested in CVS. And if a subject is not covered, it gives many pointers.

A book worth reading!