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Re: Why not diff binaries?

On 18 Jul 2000, Bruce Stephens wrote:

> "Pavel M. Penev" <kal_pav@sz.techno-link.com> writes:
> > Can someone tell me a sensible reason for not having a 'diff'
> > equivalent for binary file?
> What do you want to do?
> If you want the following:
>         Given a binary (or text) file A and a variant of it A',
>         generate a patch delta(A,A') representing the differences.
> Then you can use xdelta.  With xdelta, you can construct and apply
> such binary patches.
> diff is also used to generate human-comprehensible differences, and
> I'm not aware of a tool for doing this for binary files.  
> I'm not sure such a program would be useful, but it probably would be
> for certain kinds of files.  For example, a diff that worked on
> (mostly) text-based files, but used a character-based approach rather
> than a line-based one could be very useful.  At one point algorithms
> for this weren't feasible (hence the line-based nature of diff), but
> IIRC, there's at least one algorithm which generates minimal
> differences in linear time (or thereabouts), for some definition of
> "minimal", so it ought to be usable at the byte level.

Thank you all a lot. I have already been told aboult xdelta (and read its
manual); moreover I think a have seen something with more features (like
recusing into directories). I have what I need. I though this topic was
already closed.

Thaks again,

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