Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Meld: A good diff for OSX

Aside from the very expensive Araxis Merge, I think Meld is the best diff for OSX, at least for me, because:

  • It has the option to start with two blank textareas that you can paste text into.
  • It allows you to edit the textareas.
  • It gets the diff right almost all of the time.
  • It has optional line wrapping. Some other tools do not have this (such as Beyond Compare).
  • It can compare directories.
Check out this example of Sublimerge getting the diff wrong:
It fails to recognize that what is happening is that there were four removals. Meld gets it right:

Beyond Compare I just don't get. I know a lot of people praise it, but it seems buggy to me. For example, when I want to paste in the above example, I paste the code on the left:

And then to paste the code on the right, I click in the middle of the right textarea and press V, and now things are messed up:
So then I press ⌘A, ⌘V, thinking that will fix it, but it's still messed up:
Only when I press ⌘A, ⌘V on the left side are things finally fixed:
I don't know – there is something funny about the way Beyond Compare handles alignment. Like if the right side is blank, why is it letting me paste on different lines present on the left side, instead of pasting on the first line like a normal empty textarea?

I have also noticed that DeltaWalker gets diffs wrong too - I don't have an example at present, but will provide one when I can.


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