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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    23

    Talking All I wish for Christmass is word-wrap

    IIRC, this is discussed at least once per year, and since the end of this year is near, can we perhaps hope for a New Year resolution to finally resolve this problem?

    Seriously though, are there any plans/timelines to add the word-wrap option in the 2-way (and possibly 3-way) text diffs? We've been living for years with BC2&3 working flawlessly for any code we do, but failing miserably on text documents (like real text, you know, with paragraphs and similar...)

    From a perspective of being a developer myself, I can understand that some diffing features are complicated to implement, but this seems like just a presentation issue in the GUI. The compare itself is perfect - it is just the fact that we have to scroll left-right so much that makes it practically useless for such documents. Is it so hard to word-wrap the text before displaying it? I mean, it works perfectly for text reports. Why can't we have the same thing in the GUI?

    Thanks for your attention, thanks for creating such a great tool, and happy hollidays!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,953

    Default

    Hello,

    Thanks for the suggestion and well wishes. I assume you are referring to wrapping lines displayed in the Text Compare gui? This is still on our wishlist, but is not just a display issue. There are a few cases that make this a bit trickier to present.

    We do appreciate the feedback, and if you have any example files you would like to pass on as good test cases, I can add those as well.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi Aaron,

    Yes, we'd just like to have the long lines wrapped in the display. Nothing more than that.

    Could you please describe one of those tricky cases? I have a feeling that perhaps we are talking about two different things - what we (me and others in my company, and I guess a lot of other users) need is something simple, and what you think you'd need to implement would be something much more complicated. I might be wrong, but, hey, wouldn't it be nice if I was right?

    Anyway, I've attached an example with two versions of a tutorial document (Doxygen source text).These are just grammar fixes - which is what we encounter in most cases in changes text documents - just a few words changed in some paragraphs. BC3 finds all the differences correctly, now just if we could examine those differences without having to use horizontal scrollbars.

    IMO, it would be perfectly well if the line operations (copying lines left/right) would still work on physical lines (i.e. entire paragraphs), not on visual lines (wrapped). I understand that it may involve more work if we'd be able to also edit the lines in wrapped view, but even if turning on word-wrap display would turn off editing, that would be a huge improvement over the current situation. I'm used to quickly reviewing tons of small changes, but this problem slows it down significantly.

    Looking forward with great anticipation to any improvements in this area! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,953

    Default

    Hello Alen,

    Some of the trickier cases are files with much longer lines. Beyond Compare 3 currently supports up to 65536 characters per line. Depending on how that aligns when word wrapped, individual characters could "float" or otherwise be difficult to find.

    Word Wrap is something we are looking into, but we would like to be sure the interface is clearly presenting your files and their differences at all times.

    Thanks for the example set of files and suggestions. I've added them to our list of test cases with our tracker entry.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    23

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Some of the trickier cases are files with much longer lines. Beyond Compare 3 currently supports up to 65536 characters per line. Depending on how that aligns when word wrapped, individual characters could "float" or otherwise be difficult to find.
    I think see what you mean. I guess you want to have the words aligned during wrapping to make sure the same word ends up on the same visual line in the left and right windows.

    But please allow me to say that I feel you are allowing "perfect", that long known enemy of "good enough", to win hands down in this case. Sure, it would be great to have the words aligned perfectly in all cases, but the current situation is much worse than having at least some kind of a way to have a visual overview of the entire text without that annoying left-right scrolling. If you want to match the changes in details, you could still be able to see aligned changes in the scrolling area at the bottom as you are now (because each paragraph is just one line).

    Word Wrap is something we are looking into, but we would like to be sure the interface is clearly presenting your files and their differences at all times.
    One idea you might be interested in for this case could be in-line display of diffs as can be seen on Twiki pages, or in Word documents (using Word's internal history). I have attached a screenshot of a small snippet of text changed with that. This format is probably not practical for editing, but is great for overview of texts (in contrast to source code), and it makes the word-wrap problem very simple.

    What do you think of that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    11,953

    Default

    Thanks for the additional example cases. I'll add them to our wishlist entry on the subject (along with the picture attachment). Having additional examples is a nice reference and appreciated.

    I do not think it is something that will be scheduled soon, but it is on our radar as something we would like to tackle and handle better.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

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