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Mercurial

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book and Good Reference

    Mercurial is a really nice, portable, easy to use [which is saying a lot!] source code control system. This is the only paper book available for it.

    Fortunately, the book very well written, well organized, and nicely developed. The examples actually work and are simple enough, small enough, and complete enough to be useful to type in and work with while reading the book. They make reading the book more of an interactive exercise.

    About Mercurial itself: it is the easiest source code control - aka version control, content control, etc - system I've ever used. I started using source code control back with a DOS clone of SCCS, found RCS and switched to that because it was really simple to use [although difficult to organize]. Have also tried CVS and SVN, but kept going
    back to RCS because of the administrative burden the bigger and better versions impose.

    Mercurial makes source code control easy again. Creating and maintaining repositories is inexpensive and easy. Rather than having central repository to maintain and configure, you just type 'hg init; hg add . ; hg ci -m initial-checkin' and you have a brand new repository for whatever project is living in your current directory.
    To try out something without mangling the basic code, 'cd newdirectory; hg clone repository-directory' and you are now in a clone of the original repository and can hack away. If you like the experiment, you
    'hg ci -m like-it; hg push' and it goes back to the main source; if you don't, just delete your trial repository. Rinse and repeat often.

    It actually makes source code controlled development easy.

    So far I haven't found anything in Mercurial I don't like.

    Back to the book: the author also maintains the book on line in an editable and comment-able form. See the Mercurial web site at for details about this book and more specialized articles: http://mercurial.selenic.com/

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