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Comparing Versions

The need to compare two copies of a project appears quite often, in just about all kinds of circumstances. Here are a few real cases:


What has Changed in the New Version?

If you have worked on a serious project for a long time, you are likely to be familiar with this situation: The client complains that after upgrading from the version 12.85 to the version 12.86 some button stopped working, and some strange message appears instead. Certainly, you know what needs to be done in such situation: first of all, you will compare the version 12.85 and version 12.86 source files with one another paying special attention to changes around that button. In most cases, this should be enough to discover the bug's root right away.

Create a new ZSync project and add the 2 points that correspond with the respected folders (or ZIP archives) with these versions to it. ZSync will compare them and display the modules that are different. Out of the modules that are found different, you can select those that could affect the button and then compare their contents to see what could have caused such result. Of course, you can compare any versions this way - not just the neighboring ones.

If you use a file manager (e.g., Far), this all can be done even simpler. Jump to the folder with the versions, and then run ZSync and supply their names as the command line parameters:

zsync.exe V12_85 V12_86

or, if those are ZIP archives:

zsync.exe v12_85.zip v12_86.zip

If your archives are not in the ZIP format, then you will have to decompress them before comparing.


What is Different in These Versions?

Imagine, you were told to figure out the program that was written by someone else two years ago and add a few things to it. As you unpacked the source code archive, you have discovered 3 versions of the program at once. Their names are as follows: Essay2, New Vers, and LastVer. As you viewed the archive in detail, you have discovered that despite the name LastVer contains files that are older than those in Essay2 or New Vers. You have also discovered that Essay2 has the Work subfolder with yet another copy of the source code. At the same time, for some files the latest date was found in Essay2, for other files that was found in New Vers; Essay2\Work somehow matches Essay2 and somehow looks similar to New Vers. Anyway, having spent an hour doing this work you have surely figured out one thing: it is not so easy to find the "right" version of the program.

So, what will you do in such a situation? Naturally, use ZSKSoft Synchronizer's assistance. Here is how you can do this smart and easy from the command line:

zsync.exe Essay2 Essay2\Work "New Vers" LastVer

All the four versions will be displayed; each one will be in its own column. One click on the gravity filter, and equal files are no longer visible. Another couple of the mouse moves, and the insufficient files - .bak, .cfg, etc. disappeared off the screen as well. To see the full picture of it, you can also enable showing the date/time and file size via the View menu item. You have got the analysis material in the most convenient shape. From now on the creative work is to be engaged, and ZSync leaves it to you.


What is Scheduled for Monday?

Finally, here is one helpful advice. If during your last weekend you have had some good rest and on Monday, when you are back at work, full of strength and energy to work more but don't really remember what you were doing and where you stopped on Friday - compare the working copy with the previous version. You will instantly see the latest changes, recall the flow of your thoughts, and easily merge the working rhythm.

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