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Pragmatic Version Control Using Git

Pragmatic Version Control Using Git is a relatively short book, at fewer than 200 pages, and easily readable in a single sitting. It contains a well-written, and generally well-explained guide to everyday git.

Part I gives the basics - a whirlwind tour of git's concepts and abilities, with installation and setup. Personally, I like this in-at-the-deep-end approach - it makes a great introduction to the subject, The introduction gets the balance between speedy high-level view and enough prose to explain the issue just right, with one possible exception. The overview of branches and rebasing just needs a little more hand-holding to get the message across.

Part II is the main event, leading the reader through git's concepts and commands in detail. It's well-ordered and well-explained, and the clone-along-at-home author's examples are well put together.

My biggest nit for this section is output from the shown git command in the text is not always fully explained. I didn't see an explanation of "Fast forward" or of the significant behind "The branch 'some-branch' is not an ancestor of your current HEAD". I was also hoping to find a discussion of managing workflows among remote developers here.

Part III contains chapters on git-svn and using Gitosis to manage your git server. I skipped over them because I don't have any interest in those topics.

Also worthy of note is the well put together Resources section at the back, with pointers to a good pick of online git resources. However, therein lies the problem. The book explains the subject matter well,
however, its prime competitor is the excellent online git manual, and the book's case is not compelling. Online documentation for git is well-organised and easy to find, and unless you want a physical book, its easy to see this as an unnecessary extravagance.

Iain.

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