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Re: diff wish

From: Johan Corveleyn <jcorvel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:16:13 +0200

On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Stefan Sperling <stsp_at_elego.de> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 12:34:31PM +0200, Branko ─îibej wrote:
>> I'd say not to worry about --minimal and --nice and whatnot. Just make
>> diff output the sanest, nicest diff it can find. I think it's a bad idea
>> to give diff user-visible options that change the output in ways that
>> are hard to explain (shuffling lines around, as opposed to, e.g., using
>> a completely different diff format).
>
> +1

Certainly we need to pick the best possible default, which satisfies
most users most of the time.

But I'm not convinced that we should simply drop support for "minimal
diffs" when we arrive at the point that we have a "nice" format. A
"nice" diff will always be based on heuristics, taking guesses at what
should be considered a deletion, an addition, or a common line. It's a
matter of interpretation. So there will always be a chance that it
guesses wrong, and totally mis-synchronizes. It may be rare, but IMHO
it's impossible to completely avoid this.

The minimal diff can produce ugly diffs, but there is one certainty:
it's always a minimal one. I think that we always need to have that
around, even if only as a fallback option (just another one of the
'-x' options) just in case the nice diff gets it wrong. Just like GNU
diff still has the --minimal option.

-- 
Johan
Received on 2011-06-15 13:17:06 CEST

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