I’ve recently been looking at different version control systems, specifically distributed ones like git, Bazaar and Mercurial. At IPC I was talking to Travis Swicegood about wanting to learn and he very kindly organised a copy of his book for me to review and learn from.
I didn’t know much about git at all before reading the book. I do now :)
It turns out that git is fairly easy when you have a good explanation of how to use it. The book starts from the basics of what version control is, which I already knew. It was good to see equal coverage of how to set up git in Windows, OSX and Linux. I was aware that Windows support wasn’t prime-time, but at least doable with msys.
The bulk of the book covers how to actually use git and this is where I learnt enough about git to actually understand it. There were two main surprises for me:
- You need to re-add a modified file every time you want to commit it. This puts it in the staging area. Fortunately the -a switch to git add will auto-add for you!
- Directories are not stored under version control. It’s like CVS :)
Other than that, it’s just like Subversion, only faster! (You also have that distributed thing going on.)
I suck at reviewing.
Pragmatic Version Control Using Git is a very good book if you want to learn git.
It’s even better as a reference book as you can actually find things in it too.
If you want to know all there is to know about git, then get this book.
Even the paper feels good in your hand when you turn the page.