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3 Paul Mackerras
6 Dirdiff is a graphical tool for displaying the differences between
7 directory trees and for merging changes from one tree into another.
8 Dirdiff can handle up to 5 trees. It displays a main window with a
9 list of the files which are different between the trees, with colored
10 squares to indicate the relative ages of the versions. A menu allows
11 you to display the differences between any two of the versions in
12 another window. Another menu allows you to copy the file from one
13 tree to another.
15 The differences window basically displays the output of `diff -u' with
16 colored backgrounds to indicate which version each line comes from.
17 The differences window also has a series of checkboxes which allow you
18 to selectively apply changes from one version to another. You apply
19 the selected changes using the merge menu. Dirdiff will then pop up
20 another window containing the merged file. You can then edit the
21 merged version and save it back into file.
23 Dirdiff now also has a file mode, which can be used for viewing the
24 differences between files and for merging changes from one file into
25 another. This mode is invoked if regular files are specified on the
26 command line (or in the new directory/file chooser, see below) rather
27 than directories. (Dirdiff will exit with an error message if some
28 files and some directories are specified.)
31 What's new in dirdiff-2.1.
34 * The diff display window can now display 3-way, 4-way and 5-way diffs
35 as well as the normal 2-way diffs. When a line is identified as
36 coming from multiple files, most of it will be colored for the
37 newest of those files, and extra colored bars at the left of the
38 line will identify which other files it is in.
40 * You can now modify the diff display interactively (for example, to
41 make it more understandable). You can use the middle mouse button
42 to drag the blue separator bars to expose more context, or drag
43 colored diff lines up and down (the movement is constrained so as to
44 not alter the meaning of the diff). Dragging context lines splits
45 them into colored diff lines.
47 * There is now a menu on the diff display window for generating
48 patches embodying the changes that could be made with the merge
49 menu. That is, the diff lines that are checked in the diff viewer
50 will be made into - and + lines in the generated patch.
52 * The BitKeeper integration feature has been removed. I plan to add
53 generic features for integration with arbitrary SCM systems in
57 What was new in dirdiff-2.0.
60 * Some great new features from Dorothy Robinson:
62 - A dialog box for choosing the directories to be diffed, if dirdiff
63 is invoked without specifying any directories or files on the
64 command line.
66 - Colored icons instead of squares in the file list window.
68 - Colored icons in the Diff and Copy/Del menus (provided you are
69 using Tk 8.4 or later).
71 - Modifications so dirdiff can be used under Windows.
73 - A color key showing the ordering of the colors.
75 - Use of two-level menus for the Diff, Copy/Del and Patch menus (the
76 Diff and Copy/Del menus use two levels only when there are
77 sufficient alternatives for it to make things simpler).
79 - A filename search function using the filename bar in the file list
82 - Options to allow the user to select external diff and file viewer
85 * There is now a mode for ignoring files in a directory if they match
86 any of the patterns listed in the .cvsignore in that directory.
87 This is invoked with the -C command-line option or by choosing the
88 "Ignore files in .cvsignore" option in the Options menu.
90 * Some users have requested a mode in which, when a directory exists
91 in one tree but not another, dirdiff display the files in that
92 directory as existing in the one tree but not the other (rather than
93 displaying just a single line for the directory). This mode is
94 enabled by choosing the "Show files that aren't in some dirs" option
95 in the Options menu.
97 * Trees can now be marked as "read-only" in the Options menu. This
98 means that menu options that would modify those trees (in the
99 Copy/Del, Touch and Merge menus) will not be offered.
101 * Files can be added to the excluded file list by selecting them and
102 choosing "Exclude selection" under the File menu.
104 * Changes to the "Underline tabs" mode now take effect immediately.
110 Dirdiff is a Tcl/TK script, so no compilation is required. Dirdiff
111 however can make use of a shared library called filecmp.so.0.0 for
112 comparing files. This is optional, but it has two benefits: (a)
113 comparing files is faster with filecmp.so.0.0 (without it, dirdiff has
114 to start an external process running `cmp'), and (b) filecmp.so.0.0
115 can optionally ignore RCS and BK strings when it is comparing two files.
117 The Makefile in this directory will compile filecmp.so.0.0, and
118 install it and dirdiff. By default dirdiff is installed in /usr/bin
119 and filecmp.so.0.0 is installed in /usr/lib. Doing `make' will
120 compile filecmp.so.0.0; `make install' will install dirdiff and
127 To use dirdiff, you invoke it from the command line with a list of
128 directories (between 2 and 5). For example, suppose I have 3 copies
129 of the Linux kernel source code, in directories called linux, bk, and
130 pmac. I can see the differences between these 3 trees with a command
133 $ dirdiff linux bk pmac
135 This will display the file list window and start comparing the trees,
136 displaying files which differ as they are found. To see the
137 differences between two versions, click on the file name and then
138 select the versions to compare from the Diff menu. To copy from one
139 tree to another, click on the file name and select the copy operation
140 from the Copy menu.
142 In the differences window, there are checkboxes to the left of all the
143 sections which are different. You can use button 1 to select an
144 individual checkbox, or shift-button 1 or button 3 to select a whole
145 group. Selecting a line means that you are asking for that change to
146 be made when you update either of the files using the Merge menu. The
147 line will be removed if it is already present or added if it is not
150 Starting with dirdiff-2.0, you can start dirdiff without any arguments
151 and it will pop up a dialog box where you can enter the directories to
152 be compared.