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Re: are known diff failures complex?

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2008 01:33:11 +0100

On Thu, 2008-10-09 at 01:50 +0200, Neels J Hofmeyr wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm planning to use the diff framework to determine whether two directories
> are identical.
>
> Since I've now seen a case where diff actually fails (and needs to be fixed
> if I'm going to use it), I fear that many more will come up and that I
> shouldn't endeavour fixing diff to become precise enough to depend on it.
>
> Does anyone reading this know of a diff error that is inherently hard to fix
> within a short timespan?

I can't answer this really, but I have just replied to your message from
yesterday on this topic. Part of my reply says: let's just start using
the diff framework, and then fix it.

The same reply also indicates a starting point for reducing complexity
(in the normal-versus-summarizing dimension) which should help to reduce
bugs if it is feasible.

The most difficult problems I can think of in the diff code are
extensibility and generality - such as making a diff between two
separate local paths ("svn diff --old=wcpath1 --old=wcpath2") work. I'm
not aware that there are any bugs that are really difficult to fix,
though of course there might be.

- Julian

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Received on 2008-10-09 02:39:15 CEST

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