This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA. But it's a lot easier to make up imaginary Frequently Asked Questions than it is to discover the real ones.Compiling a true FAQ sheet requires a sustained, organized effort: over the lifetime of the software, incoming questions must be tracked, responses monitored, and all gathered into a coherent, searchable whole that reflects the collective experience of users in the wild.
No grand hypothesizing, no visionary pronouncements here—open eyes and accurate note-taking are what's needed most.
What I love about this book is that it grew out of just such a process, and shows it on every page.
It is the direct result of the authors' encounters with users.
It began with Ben Collins-Sussman's observation that people were asking the same basic questions over and over on the Subversion mailing lists: what are the standard workflows to use with Subversion?
Monitoring such feedback was part of their job descriptions at Collab Net anyway, and it gave them a huge advantage when they set out to document Subversion.
The book they produced is grounded firmly in the bedrock of experience, not in the shifting sands of wishful thinking; it combines the best aspects of user manual and FAQ sheet.This duality might not be noticeable on a first reading.Taken in order, front to back, the book is simply a straightforward description of a piece of software.Do branches and tags work the same way as in other version control systems? Frustrated at seeing the same questions day after day, Ben worked intensely over a month in the summer of 2002 to write , a 60-page manual that covered all the basics of using Subversion.The manual made no pretense of being complete, but it was distributed with Subversion and got users over that initial hump in the learning curve.When O'Reilly decided to publish a full-length Subversion book, the path of least resistance was obvious: just expand the Subversion handbook.