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Re: augmented diff, draft now mature

From: Charles Acknin <charlesacknin_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2007-07-11 14:30:47 CEST

On 7/7/07, Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org> wrote:
>
> [Branko ??ibej]
> > If you're worried about the size of the patch: If the binary files
> > matter enough to be included in the patch, then the size is likely to
> > be irrelevant.
>
> A parallel concern is whether a diff should be reversible. That is a
> very nice feature of unified diff - you can apply it in either
> direction. Providing the same ability with an 'augmented diff' would
> require spelling out the full contents of deleted files and dirs, as
> well as the full contents of a replaced binary file. Worth it? I
> don't know.

It surely sounds like a good idea, but in my opinion not feasible. It
would imply including every single object state we're manipulating
*before* and *after* the operation. So for instance, in a remove
directory operation, at the time of creating the patch, instead of
just writing "remove dir foo", we would have to somehow *backup* the
whole content of foo/, which could happen to be tremendously huge (in
size).

/usr/bin/patch does this, but since it only operates on
contextual-diffs, that's way easier task to achieve. Reversing
directories and binary-files is a luxury, and as expected, expensive.

Cheers,
Charles

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Received on Wed Jul 11 14:30:19 2007

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