Things have been a bit quiet on my blog recently, I think I’d better explain myself. Two things have been happening in my life over the last couple of years. Firstly I am now a proud dad with two lovely kids, Ben and Natalie, who are two-and-a-bit and seven months, respectively. To say that having kids is a life changing is an obvious understatement. I won’t gush too much but it has been a wonderful experience. It’s also been exhausting so my capacity for extra stuff reduced quite a lot, hence the lack of activity on the blog.
Secondly, and probably more interesting to those of you who follow my blog, I have been working on a new Subversion book. I’m very happy to announce that Pragmatic Guide to Subversion is now in beta. The new Pragmatic Guide series takes various topics and condenses them down into easily digestible guides and quick references. The original idea was a kind of “pocket guide” series. We have both a Subversion and a Git guide, designed to get someone up to speed quickly on each version control tool. If you have experience with another version control tool (and most developers do already have this knowledge) the guide allows you to quickly transition to Subversion. Each section of the book starts with an introduction that sets the scene, so for those of you who are new to version control you will be able to understand what the book is talking about. Those of you interested more in a complete guide to why we use version control tools should take a look at the original Pragmatic Version Control using Subversion, as that book spends more time on the basics of source control.
I’m especially excited because this is the first multi-platform book I’ve done, covering command-line Subversion, the Tortoise Windows GUI, and the Cornerstone Mac GUI. A lot of people still use the powerful command-line interface but for some tasks the GUI is just way better. History browsing and viewing diffs are just naturally better with a GUI. All of the tasks in the book contain instructions for the command line, Tortoise and Cornerstone. I’ve also been able to incorporate all the latest Subversion features and techniques, the most important of which is probably merge tracking. This is new in Subversion 1.6 and can save you a ton of time if you’re working with a branched code base.
The book is a Pragmatic Bookshelf title and has been released as a beta. The beta process means that readers can get an electronic copy of the book before it goes to the paper presses, as well as getting a good deal on an eventual paper copy should you want one. The beta helps me fix the final few errata in the book and get feedback on other changes that might need to be made. The book is complete and has been through two review cycles so I think you’ll get a lot out of it even though it’s technically not finished yet.