Tag Archives: comparison

Diff Tools, Redux

Some time ago, I mentioned here how I like to use colordiff. Well, on a Mac I actually prefer Apple’s FileMerge GUI diff tool, which is is part of the Xcode command line tools, and accessible from the command line as opendiff.)

I recently discovered diffy, which is similar to colordiff, but offers a -split option that gives you the side-by-side effect of opendiff.

Even more interesting to me, however, is diffr, which is a “diff postprocessor” that shows the differences within a specific line. You run diff -u ... | diffr to see what you want.

Thousands of words worth of pictures:

plain old diff
colordiff (aliased to diff because duh)
diffy -s split
diff -u … | diffr
FileMerge, invoked from the command line

Update: I appear to have been wrong. Evidently, opendiff is part of Xcode proper, not the command line tools. Which means I won’t be using it in general, because it’s freaking huge.

Duplicate Files

I’ve been hoarding data for more than 20 years. For backups, I used to burn a CD periodically, but I long since ran over those limits. Today, my backups are hard drives. One reason is that I’ve moved between computers several times during that period, and when I do, I find stuff I don’t know what to do with. So I copy all that data into a new folder, typically called something like temp/backup/that-system-name/tmp/old/save/keep/t.files/save.d.

After 20 years, that starts to add up. So I’ve been looking at programs to help me find and get rid of duplicates. (I’ve been using rsync -n, and occasionally diff -qr, to compare folders. But the problem is deciding what folders, at what places in the directory structure, to compare.)

So I’ve been looking to see what kind of tools are available to help. At this point, I looked at duff, jdupes, and dupd.

So far, I’ve focused on dupd. It does what I was thinking needed to be done: crawl the entire hierarchy and save the result as a database.