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murrayE Level 1 Level 1

Is there some Lion-compatible Finder-like utility that will do the following?

 

  1. Display the list of files from two different folders, in parallel columns.
  2. Preferably display, too, such other attributes as you select (kind, date modified, size).
  3. indicate visually the differences between the two folders: --
    (a) which files in the first folder are not in the second, and vice versa;
    (b) which files are in both folders but are newer in the first folder than in the second folder, and vice versa?

 

Obviously if a utility can list the contents of two folders next to one another, you could go through the two lists file-by-file. But that's not what I'm asking about.

 

Please note that I am not asking about comparing and showing the differences between two files. Thus so far as I can tell, the following apps do not do what I'm asking about:

  • Araxis Merge
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Path Finder

 

Path Finder, at least, can display two folders in parallel columns; but so far as I can tell, there's no way to get it to indicate what I ask in #3, above.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 3.4GHz Corei7, 16GB, SSD + 2T HD
Reply by danegeld on Jul 20, 2012 7:29 AM Helpful

I went on a similar hunt a couple of years ago. I tried the one in XCode, didn't like it, used Delta Walker for a while but found it fiddly to set up and work with, and then found VisualDiffer. It works flawlessly and does what you want. You can find it in the App Store.

Reply by murrayE on Jul 18, 2012 12:52 PM Helpful

Richard E. Cooke wrote:

 

This is the (most excellent) software I use on Windows:

http://www.scootersoftware.com/index.php

 

 

The are working on an OS X version - they already have Linux/Windows versions.

 

I'm actually waiting for their version to come out.  I know their software is good on Windows, so I would rather wait for their MAC version than risk "trying out" something new.

That looks promising. I'll try the demo of Beyond Compare in Windows, which I have running as a virtual machine under Parallels Desktop. (Of course I still want an OS X version of such a utility, since firing up Parallels and then Windows is an utterly ridiculous way to approach the problem.)

All replies

  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6

    You can, of course, open a second instance of Finder and overlay the two file lists and visually compare them.

    Use Cmd-N to launch a new Finder.

     

    If you are familiar with using the terminal there are several other ways to compare the contents of two directories.

    One such command is

    diff

    and here is some info on using it:

    http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20070408062023352

     

    Not a trivial GUI solution, but it does work.

  • g_wolfman Level 4 Level 4

    There's an application called DeltaWalker that claims to do what you want.  However, I have no idea if it's actually any good, stable or suitable for your task.  It does appear to offer a free trial, however, so I guess you could find out.

     

    One (or a combination) of the utilities in the XFile System might also do what you want.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6

    Neat. Most of these are GUI front ends to terminal commands.

    But this one is not cheap.

     

    There are some xDif GUIs that are free, from various sources. They are written for other *nix OSs but may work on Lion. I don't know. Most would need to be compiled from source to run on Lion.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9

    In /Developer/Applications/Utilities/FileMerge has some capabilities but Im not sure it would be enough for the OP.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7

    DeCloner

  • murrayE Level 1 Level 1

    nerowolfe wrote:

     

    You can, of course, open a second instance of Finder and overlay the two file lists and visually compare them....

     

    If you are familiar with using the terminal there are several other ways to compare the contents of two directories...

    Thanks, but neither of those does what I ask. Two instances of the Finder forces you to go through the two lists file-by-file to try to figure out which files are missing from which of the two folders, and which files present in both are newer in the one than in the other. I want the app to make the comparison automatically (after you select a menu command in it, or press some button, say). Then use colors to indicate the various situations of what's the same, what's not , what's older or newer -- with arrows, say, pointing from one folder in the direction of the other if the source needs to replace the target file.

     

    The sort of thing I mean is Fileware's "FileSync" utility for Windows, as shown in the screen shot at http://www.fileware.com/screenshots.htm#FileSync.

     

    Using diff on a Terminal command line is utterly a primitive and awkward way to do anything like this.

  • murrayE Level 1 Level 1

    macjack wrote:

     

    In /Developer/Applications/Utilities/FileMerge has some capabilities but Im not sure it would be enough for the OP.

    FIleMerge (no longer in /Developer/Applications/Utilities for Lion, but now inside the XCode.app package) is still rather primitive and opaque.

  • murrayE Level 1 Level 1

    ds store wrote:

     

    DeCloner

    No, DeCloner removes duplicates. That's not what I inquired about.

  • murrayE Level 1 Level 1

    macjack wrote:

     

    Compare Folders

    I did look at Compare Folders. Still fairly primitive and difficult to use. E.g., you cannot see files of the same name matched up next to one another in the two lists, with files from one folder shown in order (alphabetically, ow within subfolders, etc.)  right in place with blank spaces in the other list to indicate they're missing from the latter, or arrows pointing from a newer to an older version of a file in the two folders.

     

    To see how simple something like this ought to be, look as I referenced in another reply in this thread,

    at http://www.fileware.com/screenshots.htm#FileSync.

     

    (Having made the choice of moving from the Windows world to the Mac world two years ago, I just cannot believe that the latter lacks such a straigtforward, simple, user-friendly, elegant app as FileSync.)

  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4

    Going off on an ever slight tangent for a mo MacJack but, shouldn't that folder exist at the top level if you've installed XCode?

  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    This is the (most excellent) software I use on Windows:

    http://www.scootersoftware.com/index.php

     

     

    The are working on an OS X version - they already have Linux/Windows versions.

     

    I'm actually waiting for their version to come out.  I know their software is good on Windows, so I would rather wait for their MAC version than risk "trying out" something new.

  • murrayE Level 1 Level 1

    Richard E. Cooke wrote:

     

    This is the (most excellent) software I use on Windows:

    http://www.scootersoftware.com/index.php

     

     

    The are working on an OS X version - they already have Linux/Windows versions.

     

    I'm actually waiting for their version to come out.  I know their software is good on Windows, so I would rather wait for their MAC version than risk "trying out" something new.

    That looks promising. I'll try the demo of Beyond Compare in Windows, which I have running as a virtual machine under Parallels Desktop. (Of course I still want an OS X version of such a utility, since firing up Parallels and then Windows is an utterly ridiculous way to approach the problem.)

  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    Heh.  Yeah, running their Windows version in Parallels or VMware is the current "work around".

     

    I do have the full version of BC (file compare) that I use all the time for software.  I plan to buy the "alll OS" license for their folder contents compare when the MAC version comes out.

     

    I'm hoping my "holding off" until the MAC version comes out is helping motivate them to hurry up!

     

    I e-mailed a fresh "when" question to their sales department, it might be helpful if everybody watching this thread did so to.  This is the reply I got back:

    Scooter Sales <sales@scootersoftware.com>:

    Hi Richard,

     

    Thanks for your email.  We are working on a Mac version of Beyond Compare, but we aren't far enough into development to announce a release or beta test date.

     

    Most customers that need BC on the Mac are running it in a virtual copy of Windows using VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop.

     

    Some customers have also reported success using CrossOver (http://www.codeweavers.com/products/crossover/) or Wine (http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/) to run BC3 for Windows on a Mac.

     

    Unfortunately, we don't have a Mac mailing list, but we'll have an announcement on our web site when a Mac version is available.

     

    For new release information you can check our announcements forum:http://www.scootersoftware.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=22 or Twitter:http://twitter.com/scootersoftware

     

    Regards,

    Jessica Reuschlein

    Scooter Software

     

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