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Re: [opencm-dev] Re: [A few SCM lists] Diff/Comparison of file formats others than ASCII/source code?

From: Noel Yap <yap_noel_at_yahoo.com>
Date: 2002-08-15 15:14:10 CEST

--- David Brown <opencm@davidb.org> wrote:
> Other file formats cause the issue to become
> significantly more
> complicated. Take MS-word for example. Word itself
> will gladly show
> you document differences between two documents where
> small changes have
> been made to the contents of text. But what if one
> document has had
> significant formatting changes (change the paragraph
> style). How would
> you do a merge if one branch changed the formatting,
> and the other
> branch changed the text, or maybe a different aspect
> of the formatting.

This would really depend on how the info is stored.
It sounds like there's a viable algorithm for
tree-based representations so if Word stored it's data
in trees (isn't MS moving towards XML
representations?), one would exist for Word. Doesn't
ClearCase have a diffing algorithm for Word and other
MS docs.

> CAD drawings are even more difficult. It may not be
> difficult to
> determine what has changed, but how do you represent
> that change. A
> diff tool is plausible (show both drawings, in
> different colors, for
> example), but a merge is even more difficult.

I partially agree. The real question is, "What does
'merge' mean for images?"

Technically, if a diffing algorithm exists, a merge
algorithm can also exist (eg do something similar to
diff3). The difficulty is whether the merge algorithm
conforms to the human interpretation of merging for
the particular item.


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Received on Thu Aug 15 17:34:52 2002

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