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Feature Request: wordwise diff

From: Riccardo Poli <ProfRPoli_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 01:36:28 -0700 (PDT)


I've recently written a book with two colleagues (CCed) using
subversion as our revision control system (our sources were Latex,
Bibtex and postscript/pdf files). (Incidentally, the book is freely
available on the internet from http://www.gp-field-guide.org.uk/)

Subversion was wonderful, but we found one significant problem. One of
us was using an editor which would keep an entire paragraph as a
single very long line of text. This meant that a clash, say caused by
a very small change in the paragraph, would result in subversion
reporting a difference in a large chunck of text without any
indication of exactly which bit of the text had caused the clash.

This is the result of diff doing linewise comparisons. I wonder if it
would be possible to get subversion to work at the word level (i.e.,
ignoring line breaks). This feature is available in emacs where one
can do ediff between two regions in wordwise mode (see ediff-regions-
wordwise command vs ediff-regions-linewise). I think it would be nice
if subversion realised that lines above a certain length are difficult
to compare visually, and went into a wordwise mode to help spot the

Many thanks.


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Received on 2008-04-11 22:55:20 CEST

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