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One of the greatest frustrations in most software projects is version control: the art of managing changes to information. Today's increasingly fast pace of software development—as programmers make small changes to software one day only to undo them the next—has only heightened the problem; consecutive work on code or single-programmer software is a rare sight these days. Without careful attention to version control, concurrent and collaborative work can create more headaches ...
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One of the greatest frustrations in most software projects is version control: the art of managing changes to information. Today's increasingly fast pace of software development—as programmers make small changes to software one day only to undo them the next—has only heightened the problem; consecutive work on code or single-programmer software is a rare sight these days. Without careful attention to version control, concurrent and collaborative work can create more headaches than it solves. This is where Subversion comes into play.
Written by members of the Subversion open source development team, Version Control with Subversion introduces the powerful new versioning tool designed to be the successor to the Concurrent Version System or CVS. CVS users will find the "look and feel" Subversion comfortably familiar, but under the surface it's far more flexible, robust, and usable, and more importantly, it improves on CVS's more notable flaws.
The book begins with a general introduction to Subversion, the basic concepts behind version control, and a guided tour of Subversion's capabilities and structure. With thorough attention to detail, the authors cover every aspect of installing and configuring Subversion for managing a programming project, documentation, or any other team-based endeavor. Later chapters cover the more complex topics of branching, repository administration, and other advanced features such as properties, externals, and access control. The book ends with reference material and appendices covering a number of useful topics such as a Subversion complete reference and troubleshooting guide.
Version Control with Subversion aims to be useful to readers of widely different backgrounds, from those with no previous experience in version control to experienced sysadmins. If you've never used version control, you'll find everything you need to get started in this book. And if you're a seasoned CVS pro, this book will help you make a painless leap into Subversion.
Posted July 20, 2004
So what is wrong with CVS? It is the most common open source version control package. Very stable and mature. But, as the authors of this book point out, heavy users soon run into its limitations. Most notably, CVS has no concept of directory versioning. This means that copying and renaming files isn't handled at all, let alone these operations on directories. Plus, if you want to commit a set of files in CVS, some might fail and others might succeed. Not atomic. Undesirable. So the authors (and other developers) put together a proposed open source successor, Subversion. (Cool name!) It fixes the above deficiencies, and others. One nice extra feature is that the actual data access is abstracted in such a way that an Apache web server can also serve the Subversion data. Clever way to key off the power and stability of Apache. You may find it worthwhile to check it out.
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