Pro Git (Apress) vs Version Control with Git (O’Reilly)

Posted by Elf Sternberg as programming

Apress’ Pro Git is a better book than O’Reilly’s Version Control with Git.  The O’Reilly book tries hard to educate you about the repository, but goes off into the weeds with details about history and branch management that overwhelm a user who “just wants to use the damn thing.”  The Apress book has a section on what goes on within the repository, complete with illustrations of blobs, pointers, trees, and so forth, but by eliding the blobs when talking about branches, and only going into detail when necessary, it makes the branch and merge process much easier to understand than the O’Reilly book.

Also, since I’m using Git on top of SVN, the Apress book’s section on using Git with other repository software is sufficiently technical without, again, overwhelming you with the details.

Kathy Sierra once posted about Just In Time vs Just In Case Learning.  The O’Reilly book quickly becomes a “just in case” book, whereas Apress’ book is much more “just in time.”  The Apress book supports my mantra, courtesy of Bre Pettis: “Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.”

4 Responses to Pro Git (Apress) vs Version Control with Git (O’Reilly)

Mike Altarriba

March 17th, 2010 at 11:34 am

(Duplicate of post to LiveJournal x-post)

Elf, have you had a chance to look at “Pragmatic Version Control Using Git”? If so, how did it compare to Pro Git and Version Control with Git, in your opinion?

How does Git compare to other version control systems you have used?

Elf Sternberg

March 23rd, 2010 at 11:04 am

I haven’t looked at the book you mention, sorry.

As for git versus other repositories I’ve used, I can only compare it to Subversion and CVS. Subversion was far and away better than CVS, which is why it exists, but Git, with its incredibly cheap branches and change management features, really does appeal to me. One thing I’ve learned using GIT is that I really do need a graphic manager to monitor the branches for me, and I do need to be careful switching branches out from under emacs. Otherwise, I would get lost.

Anton Petrov

January 10th, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thank you very much! I find your post very helpful and will now approach Pro Git confident that I have chosen the right book to start!

Nidhin David

October 1st, 2014 at 9:22 pm

To be frank I prefer Apress over O’Reilly. I don’t know why O’Reilly got so much readers, I think its because they are one among the first publishers.

O’Reilly simply makes the book language and accent so short by making the language and accent very complex.This makes me to read a sentence again and again, sometimes even pages.

But Apress is well organised. their language is quiet easy to understand as well as their books are concise. I like them.

I would recommend Apress for all beginners and intermediate programmers.If you try Apress then I ‘am sure that you will never go after O’Reilly!!

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