[cvsnt] Merge Application

Mitch Davis Mitch.Davis at EXTEL.COM.AU
Wed Jun 18 13:28:39 BST 2003

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Hi Keith,

> What I am looking for is a merge application
> (open source/free) that uses three files - one a base file,
> and to changed files to generate a composite file.  It also
> needs to display all of this graphically...   Any ideas?

Yes see below.  I presume you're looking for a 3-way
because you want to specify where the output should go.
You can do this by making a copy of a directory and
working on the copy.

A three-way merge is something else - useful for when
you have a base file from which TWO lines of development
have occurred.

> I know source safe had one, but it sucked pretty bad.

It sure did.

> It would be nicest if you could manually edit file right in
> the merge application.

I often have six or more copies (aka sandboxes) of my project
checked out at any one time, each containing changes for a
particular bug or feature enhancement.  Often (for testing),
I need to move changes from one sandbox to another.  The two
tools I use are WinMerge and jEdit's jdiff mode.

You can get WinMerge here:


It has a couple of minor warts, but it's a very easy-to-use
merge tool.  After choosing a file from the list of changed
files, the two version are presented side-by-side.  You use
the up/down arrows to cruise through the changes, and
left/right to copy a difference from one file to the other.
It's great for propagating a change into both, or for cancelling
out an unwanted change.

For times when the files need hand-editing, I use
the "JDiff" plugin for jEdit:


They are both very good, and will run under Windows.

If you are willing to try out XEmacs, it has a VERY
good diff/merge tool called "ediff".  As well as
having a true three-way diff/merge tool, it also
refines diffs at the word level.  For example, you
would immediately be able to see that the only
difference in some code was the formatting, or that
a single word had been added to a paragraph (even if
the paragraph had been reflowed).


(Yes, you can get this for Windows as well.  A great
editor/religion/way-of-life, but it could be a bit of
a learning curve.

Hope this helps.


PS: If this was of use to you, would you consider
putting it into the CVSNT wiki?

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