Software Review: BDiff

Posted by dave on Jan 19, 2004 12:56 PM
LXer; By Dave Whitinger

bdiff is a "binary diff" and, rather than going line by line, it goes byte by byte.

Since migrating to the MyISAM table format of MySQL, I have had to use the --opt option to mysqldump in order to make SQL files that can be imported in a reasonable amount of time.

The unfortunate side effect of --opt, however, is that each table is turned into one long line (and a 120 meg table makes a VERY long line!).

Alas, when creating a diff of yesterday's table to today's table, now the entire table is included in the patch file because that single line (the 120 meg line) has been changed. :( What I need is a byte-by-byte diff, rather than a line-by-line diff.

Enter a handy tool called bdiff.

bdiff is a "binary diff" and, rather than going line by line, it goes byte by byte. It produced a 2KB patchfile from a 47 meg database, for example, while the standard diff utility produced a patch that was actually bigger than the original! And, bdiff is quite fast!

I have found my new diff utility. Ahhh, a man and his tools. :)


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