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

From: Michael Poole <poole_at_troilus.org>
Date: 2002-08-15 18:08:05 CEST

Alan Langford <jal@ambitonline.com> writes:

> I've been pondering this and it's even more fun than that. A good
> number of Word documents contain drawn graphics, embedded images,
> embedded spreadsheets, embedded Visio diagrams... you name it. Any
> diff utility that understands Word needs to be able to accommodate
> plug-ins that understand most major types of embedded object. It seems
> that implementing anything close to a comprehensive Word diff is
> prohibitively complex.

That is a poor reason to not try it. It is much more useful to say
"This sub-object is being treated as an opaque blob, and differs
between these revisions" than to say "We cannot handle some cases of
this file type, so we won't try at all." You can have the same
problem in any compound document. Although I don't use Word much, the
number of cases for which it *will* work seems to justify the effort.

Michael Poole

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Received on Thu Aug 15 18:12:46 2002

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