Pragmatic Version Control Using Git

Pragmatic Version Control Using Git

I’ve been using Git since March 2008 and have owned this book since the beginning of the year but have only just got around to reading it. It was a case of knowing enough to use it for personal projects but really needing a book to fill in the knowledge gaps.

After using CVS and Subversion for work, and having read both Pragmatic Version Control books, I pretty much knew what was involved. Although Git is the first version control system that I’ve come across that is distributed it can still be run from a central repository like Github. This is only a slight difference if you’ve CVS and SVN before. The whole of your projects repository is held locally and even better it is all held in the root of your projects tree structure. So, if you’re without an internet connection you can still add and commit code to the repository and push the project to a central area to share it with others.

Code branches are mildly painful in Subversion. Without the Pragmatic Version Control book I wouldn’t have known where to start. At work I’ve written Rake tasks for the development team to make generating ticket branches easier, another task to end the branch and yet another task to merge the code into the release branch. With Git it’s a breeze, just a single command to create a branch, a command for switching and another for merging. Git will even warn you if you’re going to delete a branch that hasn’t been merged. Because creating branches is so simple you’ll want to create them all the time to test out new ideas.

The book, as with the previous volumes, describes version control systems, set up and project creation. Once you have the test examples working, or git cloned the example repositories from Github, you’ll be guided through a typical working day: adding, committing, branching and managing conflicts. The later chapters deal with change history, remote repositories and more technical commands like rebase and reflog.

If my experience with the SVN book is anything to go by then the quick reference/recipe section in the back is going to be worth the purchase price alone.

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, 30 December 2009
  • Tagged with book review