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Book Review: Trac and Subversion

I've been using subversion (svn) for several years now, and love it. I'm relativiely new to Trac though, and it was only on a recent contract that I got to try it.

From my brief experience with Trac, it's obvious that (like many other good software applications) it can be used in many different ways. However, sometimes you can miss out on the better ways to do things and conventions. I bought this book, as I wanted to see how Trac is normally used.

The first thing you notice is how short this book is - only 120 pages. When you take away the installation appendices, you're down to 79!

This isn't always a bad thing, as sometimes it's better to have a book that's short and to the point, than several hundred pages of waffle that tell you nothing.

It does cover the main points. You're introduced to project management, the software involved, a quick guide of Trac and it's wiki, and then Subversion and version control. You're taken through a sample project and all the steps of configuration and using.

The problem, is that that this seems more like a start-up tutorial than a proper reference book. I would expect something similar from a series of blog entries. It makes the £18.99 price tag a little hard to justify.

Although this book will get me up to speed with using Trac and Subversion, I don't think I'll get much more out of it.

I had wanted more information on things like the email notification. I wanted the various security permissions documented, with advice on what set-ups should use them.

There's no information on where to go next either. If I want additional functionality, are there websites I should look at? Where would I start building my own customisations?

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are new to Subversion or Trac, but for more advanced usage, you'll still need to search the web.

Author David J Murphy
Publisher Packt Publishing Limited (Dec 2007)
ISBN 978-1847191663
Rating 7/10

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