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Re: DIFF problems

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2005-02-15 18:33:59 CET

"Maury Markowitz" <mmarkowitz@polarsec.com> writes:
> 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.

Did you try the -b / -B or other options to cvs diff?

> 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 uses an internal diff library. If you want to pass options
like -b, -B, whatever, you need to ask it to invoke an external diff.
You can do this by using the '--diff-cmd' option combined with the
'--extensions' option.

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Received on Tue Feb 15 19:13:59 2005

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