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Re: Good Win32 Diff Program...

From: Laine Stump
Subject: Re: Good Win32 Diff Program...
Date: 26 Jun 2001 13:54:48 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

Matthew Riechers <address@hidden> writes:

> IMHO, GUI diff tools are only more useful when merging files by hand
> (drag 'n drop lines, etc). This scenario should hardly come up under
> typical use of CVS, since it merges for you. Readability of GUI or CLI
> styles is a matter of taste. One thing a GUI diff *can not* do is
> directly integrate with arbitrary development tools (i.e. SLOC report
> generators, etc.)

One thing the output of "cvs diff" cannot do is be easily and quickly
parsed by a human brain when the diff is large and has many changes
within existing lines (yes, even a "context" diff is more trouble to
grok than something that is nicely colorized, with the two files
displayed side-by-side). Almost without exception, I use diff wrt. CVS
when I want to quickly see what changed between two revisions of a
file (ie "what did they screw up *this* time? ;-), and that's a royal
pain with a pure-text diff, if it's more than a few lines long.

My favorite visual diff is ediff, which is part of emacs (emacs also
has CVS integration builtin, so you can get cvs diffs displayed with
ediff in 3 keystrokes); I like it because 1) it colorizes modified
*words* within the diffs (not just modified *lines*), making it easier
to see exactly what changed, and 2) it is part of my favorite editor,
and one of the copies of the file being displayed is usually the copy
in the work directory, so I can modify it right then and there, rather
than having to switch back and forth between my editor, and another
copy of the file in a read-only diff program.

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