Customizing svn diff

A few years ago I wrote about how my discovery of colordiff had improved my svn diff experience. Since then I’ve made a number of other tweaks to better customize my diffing:

#!/bin/sh -u
svn diff --no-diff-deleted --diff-cmd diff -x "--ignore-all-space --text --unified=0" $* | \
  filterdiff --verbose --exclude-from-file ${exclude_file} ${tmpfile} | \
  grep -v --file=${exclude_file} | colordiff | less -RS

I never want to see full diffs for deleted files, hence I give the --no-diff-deleted option to svn diff. (I would also use --no-diff-added if it existed!)

I also regularly diff artifacts archived from automatic jobs which build and test NAG Fortran and C Libraries. There are some differences there that, although they need to be archived for possible future reference, I never need to see on a day-to-day basis — diffs for non-repeatable RNGs, for example. I use filterdiff (from patchutils) to remove these from the svn diff output. I have the patterns to exclude listed in a separate file (pointed to by the exclude_file in the script). These patterns are shell wildcards, so look something like *g05kg*e.x for ignoring the results differences from the Fortran (respectively C) example program for the NAG non-repeatable RNG initializer g05kgf (respectively g05kgc).

A block of differences excluded by filterdiff leaves behind the separator Index: filename from svn diff, so in the script above a call to grep filters these out too. Unfortunately that means each exclusion needs to appear twice in the exclude_file: once as a shell wildcard for filterdiff and then once as a basic regular expression for grep: so as both *g05kg*e.x and g05kg.e\.x say. I haven’t yet worked out how to unify this. You also end up with orphaned ==== separator lines as well, but I don’t feel too inconvenienced by this: I just jump between the resulting diffs according to the presence of the ^Index separator for the diffs that haven’t been excluded. These diffs will come out colorized via colordiff and less -R as discussed in the older post.

Note also that Index lines for deleted files, filtered by svn diff --no-diff-deleted, still appear in the final output. I don’t exclude these at the grep step because I still like to see that a file has been deleted, without needing to see what has been deleted. And although the facility exists in the [helpers] section of ~/.subversion/config to set the script above to override Subversion’s diff implementation, I like to run my diffs by invoking this script explicitly and then I can still use plain svn diff as a sanity check or fallback, especially if filtering is not required or whitespace in the diff is significant.

Source code:


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