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Bug? Compare contents inactive

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  • Bug? Compare contents inactive

    BC3 3.0.8 (build 9206). Windows (2000 and XP). Folder comparison.

    This may be working as designed but it seems odd enough that it might be a bug, so I'll post it for consideration. I'll state a use case and then explain an experiment which demonstrates what I consider a deficiency and pose a couple of questions which may lead you to a solution.

    Use case: I use BC to compare large directory structures across systems while working with others, directly responsible for those systems, to make changes. I want to see what the changes in "almost real time." The systems may end up identical or different but I need to react as changes happen. Instead of having to recompare the entire directory structure it seems natural to simply "Compare Contents" in specific areas where I know things are changing. That is roughly equivalent to "Refresh Selection" and I don't see why one is allowed but the other isn't.

    The experiment:

    Pick a directory with some subfolders and open it on both sides, so that everything is identical, to start the experiment. Notice that Compare Contents is inactive in the context menu (and the action menu) no matter what subfolders you try to compare?

    Select or create two areas with similar subfolder structures but modify one side to have differences or orphans. Check the conditions under which you can select Compare Contents. On my system Compare Contents is only active if the subfolders are somehow different - contain orphans or differences.

    See the help for "content comparisons" which explains when content comparisons are performed. Notice that it doesn't mention "Refresh Selection" but does say "explicitly, when the Compare Contents command is used."

    I know that I can make a selection and refresh it to force a comparison, but shouldn't I also be able to "force a refresh" on subfolders/files at any time by choosing Compare Contents, even if the folders/files have already been compared and are identical? Without that capability how is Compare Contents different from Compare To or Refresh Selection except that it is frequently less useful? (Don't answer that. It's a rhetorical question just to make you think.)

    From the way things actually work it seems you think there would never be a reason to compare anything when the status is already known, especially if the folders/files were identical. In that case, why allow it on folders with differences/orphans? Do you think differences and orphans can change but identical folders and files can't? (OK, you can answer those questions.)

    I may have missed the point completely, but I think that as long as (reasonable) content can be selected Compare Contents should be enabled.