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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Making manual alignments stick

    I am comparing two files of people data (name, company, addresses, etc.) Some of the alignments are off. I've tried playing with the tolerance settings, but can't seem to get a better reading.

    I can manually align the files to compare the correct records, but as soon as I save, the manual alignment breaks - and goes back to the older alignment.

    How do I get a manual alignment to "stick"?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,908

    Default Re: Making manual alignments stick

    Alignments cannot stick because the file needs to be re-evaluated when it is opened, if it was changed in an external program, etc. What do your data files look like? If they are delimited, you may want to look at our Data Viewer plug-in available here:
    http://www.scootersoftware.com/download.php?c=v2plugins

    You can send us specific examples of the alignment to support@scootersoftware.com
    and we can help with how to display your data.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Making manual alignments stick

    file sent to support address.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,908

    Default Re: Making manual alignments stick

    Sent back suggestions for making the first column (the Name) the only important text (making it a string, and all other text is unimportant). In that way, it acts a bit like a key, even though some Names were slightly different than what they had to match.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    > Alignments cannot stick because the file needs to be re-evaluated when it
    > is opened, if it was changed in an external program, etc

    Pardon me, but this is a silly answer. Yes a file has to be re-evaluated for those reasons you stated, but it does not then follow from that, that the manually set alignments cannot stick. "Stick" means that the subsequent re-evaluations are restricted by the previously set manual alignments. Make the re-evaluation run in between the pre-existing manual alignments using them as anchor points, so you have multiple local re-valuations & alignment rather than one big global re-evaluation & alignment. This is a reasonable behavior to expect. Now if you don't want to do this just say so, but don't pretend that it is an unreasonable or impossible request.

    I am having the same problems comparing two C++ source files. The object is to implement functionality found in one into the other. The implementation in the second file is similar but not exaclty as in the first and that makes the comparison & editing cycle tricky. I spend 10 minutes helping it along by manually aligning to help the comparison reveal to me how to make the changes. Then I make some of those changes and I want to continue from where I left off, but the program forgets all of the manual alignments I made and I have to do them all over again before I can continue. The annoying cycle repeats.

    The only work around I have found is to save corresponding sub sections of the two files between manually set alignment points to individual sub file pairs and compare them separately from the original main files, but that is quite awkward.

    I would appreciate advice from anyone who has found a better solution.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,772

    Default

    Have you tried using the "Alternate method" option under the Alignment tab in Session Settings to see if it improves the automated alignment?
    BC v4.0.7 build 19761
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    No, didn't help. The manual alignments I need to do in these files could not be expected to be picked up by the beyond compare software. There is often simply too little similarity between the lines and surrounding context. And that, of course, is why I'm doing the manual alignments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,908

    Default

    By playing around with the Alignment Settings under the Session menu -> Session Settings -> Alignment tab, you should be able to get the files to align (very closely).

    Usually Alternate Alignment, or enabling/disabling Use Closeness matching, and increasing Skew Tolerance help.

    If there needs to be further alignment, use the Tools menu -> File Formats to create Line Weights. If more is needed, create Grammars, mark these Grammars as Important, everything else as Unimportant, and select Never Align on Mismatches.

    With example files and your Support package (Help menu -> Support; Export), we could help with the specific example you are running into. Please send them to support@scootersoftware.com and include a link back to this forum post.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,525

    Default

    Making manual aligns persistent in some form is on the wishlist. Doing so with either require remembering line numbers, which will break if the file changes, or the specific line and some context, so we can find it again. It's certainly doable, but isn't currently a top priority. I can say that the more people who ask for it the more likely it is to get scheduled.

    The only workaround right now is to adjust your grammar so that the lines you want to align only have unimportant differences, and then use line weights to force them to align. Whether that's possible or not will depend on the types of files you're comparing and their contents.
    Zoë P Scooter Software

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default being able to save manual alignments would really help

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoë View Post
    Making manual aligns persistent in some form is on the wishlist. Doing so with either require remembering line numbers, which will break if the file changes, or the specific line and some context, so we can find it again. It's certainly doable, but isn't currently a top priority. I can say that the more people who ask for it the more likely it is to get scheduled.
    I often do manual alignments to make the diff more accurate. Being able to save manual alignment would be a big help.

    I've been a BC enthusiast for 10+ years. I enthusiastically recommend it to others. I've not thought of looking for additional diff tools to use until now, as I need to save manual alignments. I hope the feature can be added.

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