Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Don't be difficult, DiffMerge! Using the free DiffMerge with SourceSafe, TFS & SVN

The Mooney Project - How to use SourceGear DiffMerge in SourceSafe, TFS, and SVN

"What is DiffMerge

DiffMerge is yet-another-diff-and-merge-tool from the fine folks at SourceGear. It’s awesome. It’s head and shoulders above whatever junky diff tool they provided with your source control platform, unless of course you’re already using Vault. Eric Sink, the founder of SourceGear, wrote about it here. By the way, Eric’s blog is easily one of the most valuable I’ve read, and while it doesn’t get much love these days, there’s a lot of great stuff there, and it’s even worth going back and reading from the beginning if you haven’t seen it.

Are there better diff tools out there? Sure, there probably are. I’m sure you have your favorite. If you’re using something already that works for you, great. DiffMerge is just yet another great option to consider when you’re getting started.

You sound like a sleazy used car salesman

Yeah, I probably do, but I don’t work for SourceGear and have no financial interest in their products. I’ve just been a very happy user of Vault and DiffMerge for years. And it if increases Vault adoption, both among development shops and development tool vendors, it will make my life easier.

But when I go to work on long-term contracts for large clients, they already have source control in place that they want me to use, which is OK, but when I need to do some merging, it starts getting painful. I want it to tell me not just that a line changed, but exactly what in that line changed. I want to it actually be able to tell me the only change is whitespace. I want it to offer me a clean and intuitive interface. Crazy, I know.

Not a huge problem because DiffMerge is free, and it can plug into just about any source control system, replacing the existing settings. However those settings can be tricky to figure out, so I figured I’d put together a cheat sheet of how to set it up for various platforms.



I think it's pretty lame of me that I've been following DiffMerge since at least June 2007 (when I first blogged about it) but STILL haven't taken these steps to use it with TFS. Sigh... bad dev... bad dev... [Note to Self: Self's don't let Self's use the old SourceSafe/TFS Merge tool! The next time you merge, take a few seconds and replace that beast! (Good news is that MS is also replacing it in TFS11...)]


Related Past Post XRef:
SourceGear DiffMerge - Free Cross Platform GUI Diff & Merge Utility

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