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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple Pick of the Week
FileMergeThe macosxhints Rating:
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After having spent this weekend working on something in excess of 250 files in three different varieties of Geeklog (the old 1.1 site, the development site, and the new release site), I became re-addicted to Apple's FileMerge tool ... even though I never used it for its full intended purpose!

FileMerge (which has been mentioned here before) is part of the Developer Tools (a 200mb download from the Developer site, once you register as a free online-only developer), and its mission is to compare two files and then merge the differences into one. However, I never trust tools that do such things, so I simply used its amazing file comparison features to make sure I was doing the right things to the right files. When you launch FileMerge, you're prompted for the locations of two files which then open in one window with a vertical divider down the middle.

FileMerge highlights the sections that differ in each file, and uses an arrow in the center area to show whether the higlighted item needs to be added to the right or left file in order to make them identical. I used FileMerge to open the stock versions of the Geeklog templates and compare them to the modified ones on my development server. I would then copy and paste and make the actual edits in BBEdit or vi. The visual cues provided by FileMerge were invaluable in helping me understand what I'd done to the code over the last few months ... and without its help, I probably would have been much more frustrated this weekend!

I'm sure there are other tools out there that do the same thing (and perhaps even better, and I could trust the merge function), including UNIX's diff command. But FileMerge was there, the smooth-scrolling auto-lineup feature has to be seen to be understood (it's very cool), and it was free ... so it's this week's PotW!
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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: kyngchaos on Feb 17, '03 11:50:36AM

Funny, that - I just played with BBEdit's differences tool this weekend after updating to MOSX 10.2.4 (I had to restore my changes to the Apache config). I knew it was there and had used it before, but to manually apply or just to check changes. Pretty much the same - it snaps the windows side by side and has buttons to apply changes to the old or new files. Don't know if Apple's tool can compare whole folders tho. Of course, BBEdit isn't free, but if you already have it and do all your text editing with it, that's one less tool to worry about.



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: snoozer on Feb 17, '03 02:39:15PM
Don't know if Apple's tool can compare whole folders tho.

Yup, it can.

--Andy

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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: Chas on Feb 18, '03 01:10:40AM

Wow, I had no idea that BBEdit had a file comparison tool. So I checked it out, and it sucks. FileMerge.app is a much better tool, the graphic indication of changes makes everything work so easily.



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: cockfoster on Jul 26, '10 11:43:38AM

guys!!! help!! i still cant find the location to download FILEMERGE. i have looked everywhere and on apple's developers site. can someone help me out with a link pretty pleeeeaaaassssee



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: bluehz on Feb 17, '03 12:53:19PM

This is a great tool for fixing the Apache conf issue that arose in teh last OS X update.



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Ediff in emacs
Authored by: sanandak on Feb 17, '03 02:31:07PM

If you use emacs, give ediff a try. Colored highlighting of difference regions and the ability to update one file from the other. You can also compare 3 files. With undo.



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Ediff in emacs
Authored by: g_spelvin on Feb 17, '03 09:01:26PM

Just to add more details:

Emacs lets you do diffs on regions, as opposed to just on files, so you can focus on areas of special interest and leave the confusion of the rest of the file untouched (this also implies that you can diff regions within the same file). It's also possible to refocus a diff marked section, or even explicitly choose to do a diff down to word level coloring, which is very handy.



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vimdiff
Authored by: dwinter on Feb 17, '03 03:36:15PM
I recently discovered that VIM has got a diff mode, too. Some key features:
  • view differences of up to three files in seperate windows
  • windows scroll synchronously in diff-mode
  • hiding (folding) of equal lines
  • easy copying of differences from one file to another
  • invocation from within shell prompt
  • can patch current file with existing diff file
To learn more about vimdiff type :help diff at vim prompt.

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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 17, '03 09:45:39PM

I've grown to really appreciate FileMerge for editing purposes. I help a friend with editing his story, and FileMerge helps me zone in on his precise changes between drafts of a story. Invaluable!



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: cockfoster on Jul 27, '10 12:39:53PM

guys!!! help!! i still cant find the location to download FILEMERGE. i have looked everywhere and on apple's developers site. can someone help me out with a link pretty pleeeeaaaassssee



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: BiL Castine on Jul 29, '10 07:58:12AM

You're looking for xcode, an entire suite of development and utility tools. If you have the CD for the OS you're running, you'll find it in the "optional installs" folder called simply "xcode"



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FileMerge - A file comparison tool from Apple
Authored by: cockfoster on Jul 29, '10 08:46:58AM

many many thanks monkeyboyone. much appreciated.



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