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Generalized identical/different compare status?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:10 pm
by kimmov
The bug item #2161575 Different binary files use "text file" icon (http://winmerge.org/bug/2161575)got me thinking about this (again).

Currently WinMerge has four basic statuses for compare result:
  • identical text files
  • different text files
  • identical binary files
  • different binary files
and each of those has its own status icon for folder compare.

Problem is there are compare methods (by date/time) and options (check only to first different byte) that cause we don't get (reliable) text/binary status for the files. But we still use the text file icons (identical/different). This can cause confusion since user can think that WinMerge really determines the text/binary file status when it does not.

So I think we need new compare statuses in this case where we have "unknown" (or don't care) text/binary status with own icons:
  • identical files
  • different files

When WinMerge does not know if the file is text file or binary file we use these general identical/different statuses. The advantage is we don't give user wrong information (or more than we know).

Traditionally in most WinMerge use cases majority of files have been text files so WinMerge has assumed that files are text files unless determined otherwise. But there are lots of use cases where this assumption is wrong (e.g. comparing folders with image files). So I think we need to remove this assumption. And only set the text/binary status when we have reliably determined it.

Re: Generalized identical/different compare status?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:45 am
by kimmov
I've submitted a patch:
#2175736 Add compare statuses without bin/text info
http://winmerge.org/patch/2175736