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  • BC3 vs the competition

    I logged into Wikipedia and looked up the different tools there are out there that do what Beyond Compare does. It seems there are two others in particular that are running "neck in neck" in the horserace for best file comparison tool -

    Araxis Merge
    EC Merge
    Scooter Beyond Compare (so it's a race between these three tools)

    Araxis Merge - is insanely expensive...considering what BC can do for a fraction of the license cost. The other one, EC Merge, looks reasonable considering its EU cost 30 bucks..converted to US exchange rate which is around 60 bucks.

    The thing I found interesting if you look at the comparison of the tools that EC Merge offers something not currently available in BC..and I'm wondering if version 3 of BC will offer this: patch application and patch preview. Any thoughts on this, guys?
    Last edited by DorothyFan1; 27-May-2008, 09:36 PM.

  • #2
    About a year ago I actually evaluated half a dozen different merge tools including Araxis and EC Merge. I set up a special 3-way merge test with a variety of conflicts (including changes that I wanted to take from both sides). All evaluated merge tools failed my test. The BC3 beta was the first merge tool to pass my test. Whatever "patch application" and "patch preview" is (I have no idea without an explanation) it could not be sufficient to sway me away from BC3. It remains at the head of the pack even if the application life cycle tends to drag on forever...
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Michael Bulgrien View Post
      About a year ago I actually evaluated half a dozen different merge tools including Araxis and EC Merge. I set up a special 3-way merge test with a variety of conflicts (including changes that I wanted to take from both sides). All evaluated merge tools failed my test. The BC3 beta was the first merge tool to pass my test. Whatever "patch application" and "patch preview" is (I have no idea without an explanation) it could not be sufficient to sway me away from BC3. It remains at the head of the pack even if the application life cycle tends to drag on forever...
      This is a fascinating thing to read. So the BC3 Beta...which hasn't even been officially released is able to complete your version of a 3 way comparison. This is impressive indeed. Now the only thing BC does need is drag and drop. Once it has this...nobody will be able to touch it. Plus maybe getting the color coding a little stronger to see so you can distinguish between red, blue, black and grey and all will be well. I think you just saved me 60 bucks from getting the French EC Merge tool. Thanks for the info.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DorothyFan1 View Post
        Now the only thing BC does need is drag and drop. Once it has this...nobody will be able to touch it.
        BC3 has some drag and drop support (into text compare sessions). However, it does not allow drag and drop into folder compare sessions. As I understand it, there are no immediate plans to implement drag and drop into folder compare sessions. Perhaps in a few years when BC4 comes out...
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        • #5
          Thanks for the link to EC merge, I am now seriously considering it as an alternative to BC3. From the basic specs EC merge supports more operating systems than BC3, including Solaris which I have the misfortune to use a lot. Also the extra cost for running more than one OS is much lower. These are both issues that scooter software could do with sorting out.

          I know that scooter software will say that ports to other operating systems are difficult hence the extra cost and limited choice of other operating systems. This does not cut much ice with me. If you look at the about BC3 beta page, it says that BC3 is "a fairly complete rewrite". If you are trying to port an existing windows application to Unix, then I would agree that it will be hard and expensive, but if you start work on a totally new application that is supposed to run on many operating systems you chose your tools, language and widget sets appropriately and supporting the multiple operating systems should represent very little work.

          There are countless open source projects out there that support many operating systems, and I am fairly sure that if supporting many was a problem, windows support would be dropped. To give another example, I once worked for a company who’s product was a software package that ran on Windows, every flavour of Unix/Linux imaginable and Windows CE, including support for 5 different processor architectures, Despite all these ports, the team within the company responsible for keeping all the ports working and in sync was only 20% of the total number of engineers. The reminder worked on the core cross platform software. I kind of wonder what scooter software are doing wrong that maintaining a port to just one other operating system (with the same processor architecture) represents a 60% increase in costs.
          </rant>

          Which diff/merge tool I decide on depends on the usability and which if any my employer buys a licence for, but if usability and features are similar, the I doubt I will be choosing or recommending BC3.

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          • #6
            Thank you for the feedback. If you need Solaris support, then you should choose ECMerge because we don’t support Solaris.

            We are primarily a Windows developer. The majority of our customers use Windows. This is why we use a Windows centric development environment. If we switched to a development environment with better cross platform capabilities, BC3 would take longer for us to develop, and it might not perform as well on Windows. Linux is new for us, so it didn’t justify completely changing our development environment.

            Our Linux port is our company’s first effort at a product on another platform. With limited development and support resources, we need a clear view of the revenue brought in by our Linux port. As my coworker Craig said in a post elsewhere on this forum, "The Linux port needs to bring in enough revenue to justify its existence".

            Thanks again for your thoughts and feedback on BC3.
            Chris K Scooter Software

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            • #7
              Elli&#233; Computing Merge is certainly a good tool. Out of all the merge tools I've evaluated, it is my next-in-line favorite after BC3 Pro. In fact, I was an ECMerge beta tester before I became a BC3 beta tester. ECMerge has gone through an additional version release since dropped out of their beta program and became a BC3 beta tester. Knowing that they were working on implementing a number of my recommendations, I expect that their current product is even more competative now than it was a version ago.
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