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Thursday, August 24, 2017

File List Comparison in the next ExamDiff Pro

The next version of ExamDiff Pro will introduce a brand new, much requested feature: file and directory list comparison. This feature will be available to Master Edition users.

ExamDiff Pro, as you well know, can compare a pair of files or directories. But what if you want to compare a set of files/directories with another set, and get results in a form of directory comparison? One example of this is if you want track changes in multiple source code directories. In the past you would either copy your sets of files/directories to two temporary folders and compare them, or, if all items you want to compare are under the same root, you could use ExamDiff Pro directory comparison filters to single out items you want to be included in comparison. Both of these options are far from being user-friendly.

With this new feature, all you need to do is create a text file containing the paths to the files and folders you wish to compare. ExamDiff Pro will do the rest for you transparently using symbolic links. Since symlinks supports exist only in Windows Vista and higher, comparing file lists will have this requirement.

Here's an example of a file list:
#File List One
Note that you can include comments in these list files by using the "#" character at the start of each line.

To compare two file lists in ExamDiff Pro, simply use the Browse for file list button in the Compare Directories tab of the Compare dialog. This new button can be seen below:

You can also compare a file list to a directory, or to a directory snapshot.

The result of an example file list comparison can be seen below:

Note that all items have the link overlay, indicating that they are symlinks. ExamDiff Pro uses real files/directories they point to (targets) for comparison and for file operations.

With full recursion enabled, each of the folders in the file list will be further expanded and compared. The results of a fully recursive comparison of the same file lists can be seen below:

In recursive comparison, items that are below the top level are no longer links, since drilling down into a directory symlink is equivalent to drilling down into its target.

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Inline Fuzzy Matching in the next ExamDiff Pro

In the next ExamDiff Pro we will be introducing a new and improved method for fuzzy string matching in inline text comparison.

Below you can see how inline word comparison works in the current version of ExamDiff Pro. Inline matching of word differences is done in a positional manner. As you can see, the comparison did not match "Athenian sailors" with "Athenan sailords" on line 1, but rather with "more Athenan" and simply marked "sailords" as deleted. Similarly, on line 2, "incomplete medieval" was not properly matched with "incomplte [enormous] medievall".

With the addition of inline fuzzy string matching, these previously incorrect comparisons are now properly matched. As can be seen below, "Athenian sailors" was matched correctly and "more" was properly marked as added. On line 2, "enormous" was marked as added and "incomplete medieval" was correctly matched.

Note that inline fuzzy matching is controlled by the same options that control fuzzy line comparison, under Options | Text Compare | Advanced.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

ExamDiff Pro 9.0 Released!

We are pleased to announce that we've just released ExamDiff Pro 9.0.

Here's what's new in ExamDiff Pro 9.0:
You can find more details about ExamDiff Pro 9.0, as well as a download link, here.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

ExamDiff Pro 9.0 Beta!

We are pleased to announce a public beta program for ExamDiff Pro 9.0.

You can download ExamDiff Pro 9.0 Beta for 32-bit Windows and for 64-bit Windows. The upgrade is free for all users who purchased ExamDiff Pro less than 12 months before this release. See the bottom of this email for upgrade instructions.

Here's what's new in ExamDiff Pro 9.0 (as compared to 8.0):

Updated User Interface

In this release of ExamDiff Pro gets a significantly updated user interface with a greatly improved and modernized look and feel. Along with a generally enhanced user experience, ExamDiff Pro 9.0 features multiple, movable toolbars, better customization options, new toolbar and menu icons, and a new output log pane.

For more information, see our blog entry about updated user interface.

Fast Binary Comparison

One very useful new and much-requested feature is fast binary comparison mode (byte-by-byte comparison). When activated, ExamDiff Pro will simply compare each byte of one file with the corresponding byte of another file, rather than executing the diff algorithm, which is much faster and allows to show the hex memory addresses of each row of bytes.

For more information, see our blog entry about fast binary comparison.

Merge Additions (Master edition)

In version 9.0 we are be making a variety of improvements to three-way diff and merge, including the ability to diff without merging, more ignore options, and general improvements to merge performance.

For more information, see our blog entry about merge additions.


Another major new feature arriving in this version is logging of actions, errors, results, and other messages to the new output pane and, optionally, to a file.

For more information, see our blog entry about logging in ExamDiff Pro.

Other Additions In ExamDiff Pro 9.0
  • Option to remove trailing whitespaces from lines during saving of text files
  • Better detection of comments for programming languages supported by syntax highlighting
  • Better text/binary detection
  • Better performance of 3-Way Diff And Merge
  • Explorer context menu is now enabled even if selected files are in different directories (Windows Vista and higher)
  • Better performance of parallel full comparison

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Better Detection of Programming Languages Comments in the next ExamDiff Pro

A much requested improvement that we will be introducing in the next version of ExamDiff Pro is better detection of comments in various programming language to allow for better and precise ignoring of these comments.

In the past, comments would be detected by programming language specific regular expression patterns. Unfortunately, this method is insufficient for detecting comments in several programming languages and use cases. For example, in previous versions of ExamDiff Pro, a URL string that includes "http://" would mark everything after the two slashes as comments in languages that use that character combination to denote single line comments. This problem can be seen below:

In the next ExamDiff Pro, comments for various syntaxes are no longer parsed with regular expressions, but rather using a programming language specific code parser, the same one that used to provide syntax highlighting. As a result, these failures of regular expression matching will be fixed in newer versions of our software. The same case that caused the previous version to fail can be seen working correctly below:

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