Comparison Method

Comparison Method

It is possible to choose which method to use to compare two folders.
The method to use is strictly related to user needs, comparing source code (files large only few kilobytes) should use a content comparison but to find which movies (files larger than a gigabytes) are not present on right side is faster compare by file size or file timestamp.
Every file is treated as binary and it is compared byte by byte, only ‘Compare file content ignoring line ending differences’ compares text.

The complete list of supported comparison methods

Method Description
Compare file sizes
Very quick
Two file are identical if they have the same file size
Compare file timestamps
Very quick
Two file are identical if they have the same timestamp.
It is used the Unix last modified date for comparison.
If file A timestamp is less than file B it is marked as older and it will be shown with different color.
It is possible to set a span in seconds to consider two files with same timestamp, see below
Compare file timestamps and sizes
Very quick
Compare the files timestamp, only if it is different then compare the size.
Compare file content only
Slow on large files
Compare files as binary, byte by byte
Compare file timestamp, size and content
Slow on large files
Compare the file content, only if content is different compare the timestamp and only if timestamp differs compare size
Compare file content ignoring line ending differences
Slow on large files
Compare file as plain text, read line by line and compare lines.
The line ending character is ignored so a DOS file (with lines separated by CR+LF) matches an Unix file (with lines separated by LF) if, ignoring the newlines, the content is identical

Compare Finder Metadata

It is possible to compare OSX Finder Metadata.
When the metadata comparison mismatches, for example left file’s label is red and right file’s label is blue, the other comparison methods (size, timestamp, content) are not evaluated.

The complete list of supported metadata

Metadata Description
Label Compare all labels assigned to a file
Available in OSX 10.9 or above
Compare all tags assigned to a file

Folders Traversal

User can choose to not traverse special files like symbolic links and packages

File Description
Follow Symbolic Links If checked the symbolic links will be traversed
Skip Packages If checked special OSX files (so called bundle or packages)
like Applications and Frameworks will not be traversed
Check Resource Forks Check if files are resource forks, this can slow down the comparison.
When this option is on if the file is a resource fork its size is determined from its structured data.

Timestamp Tolerance

The timestamp comparison considers two files matching when the time (including the seconds) is identical but sometime it would be useful to have a range of tolerance for example when the difference is between 5 seconds.
You can set this tolerance entering a positive integer number into the text field Ignore differences of X seconds or less

Choose Files to View according to differences found

After the comparison complete you can choose which files to view
Definition: Orphan indicates a file present only on one side

The complete list of show options

Choice Description
Show All No matters which comparison result, show files
Only Mismatches Show only files with some mismatch (size, timestamp or content)
Only Matches Show only identical files
No Orphans Show files present both on left and right side
Only Orphans Show files present only on left or only on right

Choose Folders to View

It is possible to hide empty and orphans folders. Folders can be empty because they don’t contains any file on disk or because all files/folders inside them are filtered.
Orphans folders are present only on one side (left or right)

Show Filtered Files

When a filter founds matches the elements are not visible but in case it’s necessary to shown them you can click on the Filtered button.
Default filters can be changed or totally deleted from Session Preferences window.
Some files are excluded by defaults, the complete list is shown below.

Description File
Backup and system files .DS_Store, *~
Control Version System files CVS, .svn, .git, .hg, .bzr