September 19, 2006
Comparing Contents of Folders
The Apple DevTools includes an application named FileMerge to diff the contents of textfiles: FileMerge. If you drag two folders on the application icon, a different dialog appears which shows a merged column view of both directories. You can set the checkmarks (on the right) to filter the view, and FileMerge also provides actions to remove or add files to the “left” and “right” folder. Additional information is available in the help.
On a sidenote: Roxio’s Toast also has the ability to compare disks and folders (this functionality has been there for ages), and it provides a color-coded output, where you can easily see which files have been changed, removed, or added. I hope Apple will add something similar to FileMerge in the future.
opendiff is the command-line version of this, and you can feed it two directory paths or file paths and it will open the interface. The eye-candy quotient alone is phenomenal.
BBEdit and TextWrangler have a decent file and folder comparison under the Search menu.
Compare Folders is a commercial package for $25 and I fail to see what it’s advantage is after trying it a few times.