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Re: [bug-diffutils] New diff options/features

From: Duncan Moore
Subject: Re: [bug-diffutils] New diff options/features
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 14:33:18 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20100915 Thunderbird/3.1.4

On 26/09/2010 21:07, Paul Eggert wrote:
On 09/26/2010 07:56 AM, Duncan Moore wrote:

1) --quote-filenames
    Filename quoting.
I'd rather that troublsome file names always be quoted, instead of
having an option that quotes them.  Diff already has too many options.
The implementation can use the already-existing code to quote file
names, taken from gnulib.

OK, I'll do that.

2) --if-different
    File contents are assumed identical if the files have the same size
and timestamp.
This makes sense, but the option name is poorly chosen.  How about

I was unhappy with the name too. I think --assume-same is better, but it doesn't convey the fact that it is conditional (on the timestamp and size being the same). But I'm happy to go with it, unless someone thinks of something better.

3) --function-width=NUM
    Allow a user specified 'function width' greater than 40 characters.
OK, but this should be column width, not character count, to allow for
Chinese characters (which are typically two columns).  There's gnulib
support for this.

OK, I'll have a look at that.

4) -r
    Also shows the command performed for two files at the top level.
I don't think POSIX would allow this change, and I don't see the need
for it.

I sometimes find it useful in scripts to have the command options shown. Having a separate option for this behaviour seems a bit excessive though, so I'll scrub it.

5) Help reformatted....
The help text has been reformatted, to make it easier to read (in fixed
The current formatting is to designed to look OK with varying-width
fonts.  I'd rather that any reformatting continue to have that property.


6) --ignore-equivalent-strings=ERE
    Ignore equivalent strings, that is, strings at the same position in
both files, matching an extended regular expression.
Not sure what this means.

This is explained in a subsequent message.

7) --compare=PROPERTY_LIST
    File properties other than contents can be considered as a
difference - timestamps, mode etc.
This sort of thing sounds useful.

Again this is explained in more detail in a subsequent message.

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