New York University Faculty of Arts and Science College of Arts and Science Graduate School of Arts and Science

Computing Resources

xxdiff (version 3.0.4)

xxdiff is a graphical file and directories comparison and merge tool. This program is an essential software development tool that can be used to * visualize the differences between files or directories; * merge files with differences, resolving conflicts and saving output to a new file or patch; * assist file changes reviewing and comment production (e.g. approving source code changes before they get merged into a source tree).

xxdiff doesn't itself compute the differences between files, it just displays them graphically (the rationale behind this is that you can use different tools to compute the actual diffs (for example using Rational ClearCase's cleardiff, which gives more sensible results than GNU diff in certain cases), there is a relatively standard format for difference output (POSIX diff), so it is easy and efficient to parse diff output from different programs, under the UNIX dataflow paradigm, it is common for graphical tools to be built on top of text tools. There are already many good tools to perform diffs, so there's no need to rewrite them.