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bug#11067:; diff-buffer-with-file

From: Arni Magnusson
Subject: bug#11067:; diff-buffer-with-file
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:28:32 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Alpine 2.02 (LFD 1266 2009-07-14)

Hi Stefan, thanks for the response.

Being able to set `diff-command' to any external program is a great feature in Emacs, in my experience. I have been using it for many Emacs versions, and I would miss this capability if it would be removed from Emacs 24.

In Windows I set `diff-command' to "winmerge" and in Linux I set it to "kompare". Next week I might set it to whatever I find the most efficient diff program for me.

This lets me view the differences in a feature-rich external diff program. I can visualize the differences between my modified buffer and saved state much more efficiently than with diff. Sure, diff is okay for visualizing the changes, ediff would be better, but really the external diff programs are much more efficient for me. My `ediff-mode-hook' is extensive, but I still find the external programs more efficient.

I understand that pure diff is, well, pure. But I remember how impressed and thankful I was when I disovered the flexibility of `diff-command', and I'm guessing many other Emacs users have found it practical to set it to something other than "diff". Comparing changes is an important task when editing, and it's great that Emacs can delegate this task to specialized programs, although the default is to handle things within Emacs.

Best regards,


On Fri, 23 Mar 2012, Stefan Monnier wrote:

and `diff-buffer-with-file' is not working like it did in Emacs 23.4.1
1. Start emacs -Q
2. Set `diff-command' to "winmerge" and `diff-switches' to nil

It seems that's your problem: winmerge is not a replacement for `diff'
because it does not accept the "-L <label>" argument of diff.

Any particular reason to use winmerge rather than diff?  Does it let you
view the diff in winmerge, or does it return a diff-style output in *diff*?


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