Pragmatic Programmers do CVS

I’ve been a fan of the Pragmatic Programmers ever since I stumbled on to their first book, The Pragmatic Programmer. Since then I’ve happily worked my way through the Pickaxe book (Pragmatic Programmers guide to Ruby) and now I’ve started on their own ‘Starter Kit’ series.

CVS has never been something I went too deeply in to, the basics of checkout, change, update and commit were fine for my purposes. These days I mostly write small bits of code, short articles and seldom collaborate with other people on projects outside of work. Between the O’Reilly CVS pocket reference and TortoiseCVS I’ve managed to muddle through knowing the basics and using a little google magic. While I’m only halfway through Pragmatic Version Control I wish Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt had written this book when I first started using CVS.

The book begins with a gentle introduction to the what and why of source- code control. If you’ve read many development books then not much of this will be new to you. Where this book excels is pushing the point that SSH is the only sensible way of talking to CVS servers (assuming you don’t just want anonymous access) while its recipe approach is ideally suited to the basic tasks of CVS; each one short and to the point. They are easy to read and understand while providing enough context, in the form of example commands and output, to save you checking a reference site.

I’ve not finished the book yet but so far I’m very happy with it.