DeltaWalker lets you compare text files by opening them into its editors, or by pasting/typing directly into the editors. The compared texts are displayed side-by-side and the differences, down to individual characters, are color-coded and visualized.
The Birds-eye view, a thin vertical strip on the right hand side of the comparison window, shows the extent and the location of differences between the compared files.
The Birds-eye view together with the Next/Previous buttons ergonomically positioned just below the common scrollbar offer an intuitive and easy difference navigation.
Full Unicode, MBCS and ASCII support, combined with character encoding auto-detection frees you from having to think about the language your text is in. If you have to explicitly select the language/encoding you can do so at a moment of your choosing - when opening/saving files, or while working with them in text editors.
A change notification mechanism discreetly notifies you when the files you are working on have been externally modified allowing you an easy update to the latest version.
Several types of files enjoy special treatment with DeltaWalker—XML, HTML, and compressed files.
XML files are text files representing hierarchical data. DeltaWalker offers the two most important views on XML data—a text and a structure views. Together, they present an almost complete picture of your XML data. The structured XML view allows you to focus on the actual logical differences b/n two XML documents by eliminating differences in attribute ordering and formatting.
HTML files are displayed both as text and in design view i.e. the way your default internet browser would render them; no need to fire up the browser just to visualize how your latest changes would look like, instead simply click on the Design tab in the bottom left corner of the file comparison window.
DeltaWalker visualizes and compares BZ2, EAR, GZ, JAR, TAR, TBZ2, TGZ and ZIP compressed files the same way it presents folders—as hierarchical structures.
DeltaWalker Oro supports three-way file comparison and automatic merge where two files are compared against a common ancestor and their differences are detected and highlighted in reference to that ancestor. Three-way comparison evaluates to more than two standalone two-way comparisons between each of the modified files and their ancestor as it reflects the level of convergence between the two derivative works and their ancestor. A conflicting change is a case in point—it exists only in the context of a three-way comparison, when a block of text has been changed differently in both derivative works.
Folders are also compared side-by-side and visualized in a way consistent with Finder. Identical files and folders are shown dimmed, bringing focus to the actual color-coded differences.
The comparison, carefully optimized, executes on separate thread, leaving the rest of the DeltaWalker's functionality at your disposal—you can continue comparing files or even start another folder comparison. As the comparison advances results from the comparison are visualized giving you a sense of how far it's progressed. You can always stop a comparison—the results obtained so far will be kept and visualized.
You can easily fine-tune the results of folder comparison in one of two ways:
- Using the visibility filters dropdown window in the main toolbar you can show or hide files and folders that are the same, different, added or deleted.
- Using the context sensitive menu, or the Filters preference page, you can customize the active rules governing the actual comparison execution.
Folder and File comparison in DeltaWalker are ergonomically integrated: no multiple overlapping windows, no separate applications, and no identical tabs. Everything appears in context and stays that way. Double-click files of interest and they'll open in a new file comparison window just below the folder comparison one. Double-click a pair of folders and they'll open in new folder comparison window, next to the one you are working with.
DeltaWalker's three-way folder comparison and automatic synchronization is similar in concept to the file comparison one: two folders are compared against a common ancestor and their differences are detected and highlighted in reference to that ancestor. Files containing conflicting changes are highlighted accordingly and are excluded from automatic synchronization.