Breaking change, and the ups and downs of FileMerge

Posted by Tom on 2007-05-01

I forgot to mention – there’s a small breaking change in 0.5.3, object_table@skip_fields has been renamed to just skip (that’s the skip_fields attribute of <object_table> using a syntax that just popped into my head). The reason being that you can now use that attribute to skip both fields and associations.

I blame FileMerge - it neglected to remind me about the change. If you’re a Mac user and you’ve not discovered FileMerge (I didn’t know about it for a good while), you’re missing out. Once you’ve installed Xcode you’ll find it in /Developer/Applications/Utilities. It’s a diff/merge tool for both files and whole directory trees and, in a very Mac-like way, it just works. It’s got the most readable display of any such tool I’ve used.

You can also launch it from the command line, where it goes by the name (somewhat strangely) of opendiff.

So I just do something like

opendiff rel_0.5.2 rel_0.5.3

And document all the changes I see in the changelog.

So why was I not reminded of that breaking change? Well, one of the “just work” features of FileMerge is that it automatically ignores .svn directories – very nice. A quick look in preferences shows that there’s a pre-configured list of filename patterns the tool will ignore. And alas, in that list is “tags” (I believe that’s a ctags thing). Sometimes “just works” just doesn’t :-(.

I’ve removed ‘tags’ from that list now of course, but I’ve probably missed changes within Hobo’s tags directory in several chapters of the changelog. I should go back and fix that I guess. Hmm… :-)

And finally, absolutely free of charge, here’s a groovy FileMerge link for you :-)