|| ||"Kathryn Barrett" <kathrynb-AT-oreilly.com>|
|| ||Practical Perforce - O'Reilly's Latest Release|
|| ||Wed, 30 Nov 2005 11:30:08 -0800|
For Immediate Release
For more information, a review copy, cover art, or an interview with
the author, contact:
Kathryn Barrett (707) 827-7094 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Channeling the Flow of Change in Software Development Collaboration
O'Reilly Releases "Practical Perforce"
Sebastopol, CA--While the success of Perforce Software during the
post-boom downsizing of recent years is a testament to the company, it
also underscores the importance of their product. Perforce is one of
several popular, open-source software configuration management (SCM)
systems that developers increasingly rely upon to keep track of software
versions and all the components that go into them during a product life
cycle. It's a growing field that includes such well-know tools as RCS,
CVS, and Subversion.
"The more developers know about branching, merging, and figuring out which
bug fixes went where, the more they are likely to produce better software
faster," comments Laura Wingerd, Perforce's vice president of Product
Technology and author of "Practical Perforce" (O'Reilly, US $39.95). "So,
while SCM is one of the least sexy aspects of software development, it's
also the cornerstone of production for successful software."
"Practical Perforce" provides an introduction to this immensely popular
product and a detailed overview of SCM in general, inspired by calls and
emails from software engineers and configuration managers. "Some of their
questions were about Perforce, but a large part of them were about how SCM
works," Wingerd explains. "This book is not a product manual, but more of
a consultant's brain dump. It's 350 pages of what you'd learn if you hired
me to come help you sort out the SCM situation at your company. A software
developer who was kind enough to review some early chapter drafts told me,
'I never read manuals. But I'd read this book.'"
The first six chapters of "Practical Perforce" describe commands and
concepts to give readers baseline knowledge about fundamental Perforce
operations. "It's not a tutorial, nor is it a reference," Wingerd remarks.
"It's more of a whirlwind technical tour." The final five chapters
describe the big picture, using Perforce in a collaborative environment.
The book outlines best practices and shows readers how to implement them
with the Perforce operations introduced earlier.
"As I wrote the book, I had in mind a reader familiar with SCM, most
likely a project manager, a build engineer, or a coder involved in a
collaborative software development project," Wingerd explains. "Especially
someone who wears more than one of those hats, and who has just been
saddled with the task of selecting an SCM tool and deploying it."
Wingerd goes beyond the official Perforce documentation to cover
undocumented commands, explanations of esoteric internals, useful recipes,
and clever ways to exploit Perforce to perform tasks such as: keeping
track of changes while conducting concurrent parallel work on files, log
activity, reports on who did what when, ways to store files and file
configurations, and restore lost bug fixes. She also examines branching
and merging in depth by taking into account the consequences of
refactoring, agile development, extreme programming, emergency patches,
and ongoing product maintenance.
"You don't need to be a Perforce user to gain insight from this book,"
Wingerd says. "Anyone interested in comparative SCM will find worthwhile
material. The book also helps users understand why Perforce works the way
it does. It's a level of understanding that prompts them to post 'Aha!'
messages to online Perforce discussions."
Eventually, Wingerd believes, the entire industry will realize an "aha"
moment about SCM. "We'll soon reach a point where software developers
understand the inherent behaviors of SCM 'objects' like release branches,
build workspaces and change sets," she explains. "Project managers will
spend less time trying to define and document SCM procedures because
developers will recognize them instinctively. It will be like designing
traffic patterns in a city: you don't give drivers thick manuals telling
them what to do; you put traffic lights at intersections and let the
drivers figure out what to do."
Chapter 1, "Files in the Depot," and Chapter 7, "How Software Evolves,"
are available online at:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index,
author bios, and samples, see:
For a cover graphic in JPEG format, go to:
ISBN: 0-596-10185-6, 336 pages, $39.95 US, $55.95 CA
1005 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA 95472
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