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Re: DIFF problems

From: Branko ─îibej <brane_at_xbc.nu>
Date: 2005-02-15 18:29:50 CET

Maury Markowitz wrote:

>The title on this might be a bit misleading, but hopefully you won't
>think me a troll.
>I'm a former CVS user. I don't have any ongoing projects, but I'm
>planning to start a new one shortly and it seems that it would be a
>great time to try out subversion.
>Among my many complains in using the CVS system is one I'd like to ask
>about. CVS used basic diff for, well, diff. I found that when comparing
>versions, diff would often mark huge passages of the content as changed,
>when in fact there were perhaps two or three very minor changes.
>After looking at many examples, I found that one problem was that diff
>could not distinguish between horizontal whitespace, although it could
>for vertical. In many cases huge portions of my files would be marked as
>changed, and thus stored as such in CVS, because a tab would be added or
>removed by my source editor. "Empty" lines consisting of a single tab
>were enough to trigger this in many cases.
Well, a change is a change is a change. If you've modified the file,
Subversion will notice. That's independent of the diff you use;
Subversion can use any gnu-like diff script to generate the output of
"svn diff", and indeed you can, for example, use gnu-diff and tell it to
ignore whitespace changes.

However, that will not affect Subversion's decision about whether or not
a file was modified, because...

>This was EXTEMELY frustrating, and I'm wondering if subversion has
>addressed this. If not, is this something that would be a reasonable
>upgrade request? I know the problem is really in diff, but if subversion
>is diff-based, then it is likely to exist there tool.
... Subversion isn't "diff-based" in the sense you seem to think it is,
and certainly not in the sense of CVS. But unlike CVS, Subversion has a
revert command that makes undoing such no-op changes much simpler.

-- Brane

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Received on Tue Feb 15 18:49:09 2005

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