Perhaps I wasn't a member of the target audience, but Essential CVS didn't provoke the interest in me that other technical books have. I have never used CVS before, but was interested in how to use it if the need arose in the future.

The book is logically grouped by function, and maybe that's where the issues started. I would have preferred a format where more examples were used to show how to use CVS in a project setting (a day in the life...). Put in various scenarios, and how they would be handled by an experienced CVS user.

I would have also appreciated a section in chapter 1 discussing some alternatives to CVS, their strengths/weaknesses relative to CVS, and what circumstances make CVS a better/poorer choice of versioning software.

I did appreciate chapter 10, the command reference, which concisely explained the various commands and options.

I rate this book a 4.5 out of 10. A knowledgeable CVS user could certainly use it as a reference if they wanted to know how to perform a specific task they weren't sure of. To a novice CVS user such as myself, there were sections where my eyes glazed over.