Pragmatic Guide to Subversion
Author: Mike Mason
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2010
Pages: 150
ISBN: 978-1934356616
Aimed at: Team developers
Rating: 3
Pros: Reference, suitable for beginners to Subversion
Cons: Lacks depth
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

A slim, task-based guide to the Subversion source control system.

While Git might be gaining ground as the source control application of choice, a lot of people still use Subversion and a lot make a positive choice to use it. This is a small book packed with instructions on getting using Subversion.

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The first part is composed of six tasks that get you started. At this stage it assumes that you have a Subversion server ready to use or that you are using a hosted service, so getting started means using a command line or graphical client. Part II is composed of 16 common tasks - checking out , making changes, committing changes and so on.

From here we have working with a team, using the history, creating a branch and file locking. Part VII is about setting up a server including using a hosted service. It also covers details such as backup and restore. Finally we have a section on advanced topics which deals with working with properties, externals and so on.

In total the book covers 48 tasks and many of them are fairly short - the sort of thing you could discover how to do in a few minutes of searching the documentation. They really only serve to make sure you know what to do next. You also have to know a little about version control to make sense of what the tasks are telling you to do - this isn't a tutorial on the problems of version control.

I'm also not sure it is senseitble to have the section on installing a subversion server so later in the book. It isn't a difficult task and many readers might well want to set up a local server just to try things out. The final warning is that the tasks don't go deep into what can go wrong.

Overall this is a book suitable for the complete beginner who is too lazy to read the documentation or who needs a printed copy. If you know anything about Subversion then it could also act as a reference guide. So the final verdict has to be that this book isn't essential reading, but you might find it useful nevertheless.


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The Python Standard Library by Example

Author: Doug Hellmann
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2011
Pages: 1344
ISBN: 978-0321767349
Aimed at: Intermediate Python programmers
Rating: 4
Pros: Lots of useful code
Cons: Not all of it will port to Python 3
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This big book is intended as a reference. Is it a good addtion to your bo [ ... ]



C++ Concurrency in Action

Author: Anthony Williams
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 528
ISBN: 978-1933988771
Aimed at: C++ developers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Starts from the basics
Cons: Gets difficult - its unavoidable
Reviewed by: Mike James

The free lunch is over. Now that processors are going multicore rather than faster we need to master c [ ... ]


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