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Distinguishing Newer + Different files from Newer + Binary-Identical files

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  • Distinguishing Newer + Different files from Newer + Binary-Identical files

    I have a use case where I occasionally need to compare two hierarchies and sync the timestamps so that identical files receive the earlier of the two files' timestamps. The complication is that the newer timestamp on identical files could be on either side of the compare. If the newer timestamp was reliably on one side or the other, I could a) select the "Show <Side> Newer" filter, b) select all visible files, c) run a compare, d) select the "Show same items" filter, e) select all visible files, and f) right-click > Touch and pick the correct direction. But if 90% of identical files have the newer timestamp on the right and 10% have it on the left, step f) above will use the wrong (higher) timestamp on that 10% of the files.

    I can think of several changes to BC that could make this work. One would be to add timestamp-awareness to the "Show same items" filter/dropdown, so you can pick between "Same items ignoring the timestamp", "...including the timestamp", "...left newer" and "...right newer". That gets kind of conceptually messy though (for example, the current behavior defaults to "including the timestamp" before an explicit compare and "ignoring the timestamp" after one), so another approach might be to add an option to the Touch dialog that lets you replace the newer timestamp with the older value (or vice-versa) regardless of which side of the comparison the values sit on. A third might be a right-click option that lets you unselect any currently-selected files that either match or don't match following a comparison -- in the process I outlined above, that would replace steps d and e.

    Not sure how useful this would be for anyone else but I thought I'd throw it out there.

  • #2

    In the Folder Compare's Session Setting dialog, you can disable Override Quick Test Results. This would allow you to review Right Newer files that have newer timestamps, but also review the center column for the comparison results. You could then Touch either side (set older to newer, or newer to older, whichever is needed) for files that are equal in content but differ with timestamps.
    You can then repeat by setting the display filter for the other side (Left Newer).

    We don't have a way to remove any content different in one swoop, but you could pre-scan and remove them by setting the comparison to Only Content, disable timestamp/size, then Expand All, and Select All Files, Exclude. This would exclude the selection of only content (center column) different files, by name. You can then switch the comparison back to the previous recommendation to review only files that differ in timestamp but are equal content (not filtered by name).
    Aaron P Scooter Software