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Documentation for Comparison Settings wrong?

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  • Documentation for Comparison Settings wrong?


    In the Folder Compare - Session Settings dialog box, under the Comparison tab.. the documentation for the checkbox option "Skip if quick tests indicate files are the same" says:

    "Enable Skip if quick tests indicate files are the same when you only want to perform the slower, more thorough tests when timestamps are different."

    Shouldn't it say something like "Keep this checkbox unselected to perform the more thorough testing"? Wouldn't enabling this checkbox make the testing faster? I had to re-read this phrase a few times to try and understanding the behavior. Is it correct?

    (ps This is my 2nd time trying to post a new thread because the first one never showed up.. is there a delay?)

  • #2

    Thanks for posting. We try to phrase things in the positive when described in the Help file. The description could be reworded as: if enabled, this option will skip content comparison scans if the quick test(s) returns the files are equal.

    The 1st post must be manually moderated by us before it can appear. Once approved, your future posts will show up immediately (although approving a post is more involved that it becoming visible, so there may still be some delay after the 1st post is visible and other posts are immediately visible.)

    Does this help explain the behavior you are seeing?
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Hi Aaron, thank you for your response.

      So you agree that the Help documentation indicates the opposite? That's why I was confused. I.e. If I check the box, the scan should be faster, not slower. I didn't see any change in behavior for my particular scenario so I was just trying to figure out if I should enable that option or not.


      • #4
        I'd agree the Help text is a little confusing, but not technically wrong. It just tries to describe the behavior using positive language (what it does) rather than negative language. When that behavior is a "not doing something" or "skipping", it is a bit tricky.

        Whether this particular option helps you depends on your set of data. Enabling the option says:
        "If my files have the same timestamps, then I assume they are equal and want to skip the more detailed/slower scans. But if the files have different timestamps, then they are potentially different. In that case, I want to scan them. If they are scanned as equal, then show that information. If they are still different, then show that."

        This assumes you have left the "Override Quick Test results" option enabled.

        Overall, it is a way to emphasize the timestamp comparison, and only run more detailed scans if timestamp is different.
        If, however, every file in your directory has different timestamps (as can sometimes happen when displayed on FTP, or for other reasons), then the content comparison will still run for every file.

        Does that help explain the behavior you are seeing? Does your current comparison require a content scan to determine if files are different/updated? Or would a timestamp/size comparison alone be sufficient?
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          Ok, thank you. I understand what you mean about using the positive language.

          Yes, this does explain the behavior that I'm seeing. I need to do a content scan for every file, regardless of quick tests, so I have disabled all quick tests. Thanks again.


          • #6

            If you enable "Override Quick Test Results" and also enable the Quick Tests (timestamp), this will allow the program to still use the timestamp while overriding it for comparison purposes.

            For example, Sync Update requires the Timestamp comparison is enabled and considered when performing a sync. If Timestamp is disabled, it will not work.

            To clarify, different files can be "Newer", "Older" or "Different". The definition of "Different" is when the files differ in content (size or content scan), but that the timestamp is the same. If timestamp comparison is disabled, we still show the timestamp in the display, but all files will simply be considered "Different".
            Aaron P Scooter Software