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diff woes

From: Tom Lord <lord_at_regexps.com>
Date: 2002-05-24 18:02:09 CEST

I've also noticed that you've had some minor issues with `diff'
portability and have (at least) talked about doing a built-in diff.

I'd like to make the case for new, stand-alone diff-like and
patch-like programs instead. Most importantly, the new versions
could handle (some notion of) file and directory renames.

We talked about portable diff formats with renaming support a while
back. I've since gone and implemented most of the diff part of the
approach Zack suggested. Finishing the work is straightforward, but
there are some tricky patch-set format design problems. How are
renamed files detected, for example? What does a
position-independent-file-id look like? I can easily make up answers
to those questions that work for arch -- but it would be much better
to develop answers that work for both arch and subversion.

A new diff/patch system that could handle renames would make it much
simpler to move (fully general) change sets into and out of any of
the "modern" revision control systems: making gateways achievable.

For subversion, a new diff/patch combo would mean having a diff with
stable interface. It would also be a large part of what's needed
for arch interoperability -- meaning that (some form of) distributed
repositories could be running on top of subversion relatively soon.

-t

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Received on Fri May 24 17:57:03 2002

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