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Ignore and hide certain lines

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  • Ignore and hide certain lines

    I have some log files I am trying to compare. I would like to be able to mark certain lines using a rule so that they will be ignored for comparison purposes (and I mean totally ignored - as if they didn't exist) and can optionally be suppressed in the display. Note that this is different than simply marking the text as unimportant because I want to selectively filter it from the display. This would allow me to filter out a large portion of the files that are just noise so I can concentrate on the parts that are relevant. I don't believe BC3 has this capability but it would be a great feature.

  • #2
    I agree that hiding unimportant differences would be a handy feature.
    BC v4.0.7 build 19761


    • #3
      Mark them as unimportant and then use the "Ignore Unimportant Differences" command in the "View" menu.
      Zoë P Scooter Software


      • #4
        As the original poster already stated, the desire is to hide the ignored differences entirely, not just ignore them. In other words, I understood the desire to be the ability to see both same and different lines with only the unimportant differences hidden.
        BC v4.0.7 build 19761


        • #5
          If I understand correctly, this is a wish to ignore different lines manually and filter them or not by using a display filter. I rarely remember ole Cirrus days where this option existed (mark resolved). Last year I posted this here, not to treat ignored lines as equal but as ignored seperately.

          Greetings Lutz

          PS: Don't worry about lines/files/folders - ignored/resolved should be treated in all this occasions in the same way.

          Old stuff of 2007 from Google cache of 20101128 (searching for scooter+cirrus+resolved, seems to be offline now, numbers were changed due to copy/paste):
          1. Lutz says:
            February 19th, 2007 at 2:29 am Hi,
            You made a change for build 424:
            - Changed “Mark Resolved” command to “Ignored” toggle. Ignored differences
            are now drawn and filtered as an exact match.
            This change was made not only for the text viewer but also for the directory viewer.
            Please bring back the ‘resolved’ functionality of the previous versions!
            It was very useful for me, to have two independent view filters for resolved and really identical files.
            Greetings Lutz
          2. Scooter says:
            February 19th, 2007 at 11:18 am Lutz,
            Please provide a scenario that illustrates why it would be useful to have a “Show Ignored” toggle display filter instead of having ignored differences follow “Show Same”.
          3. Lutz says:
            February 20th, 2007 at 1:38 am Hi Erik,
            with Cirrus 423 I compared two directories with a large amount of files where some were different. Now I marked a few files as resolved and they disappeared. After I checked the changes for the other files I wanted to check the resolved files again. I simply changed the filter to show only resolved files.
            With Cirrus 424 I have to show same files but it’s really difficult to identify the resolved files again. The only possibilty is to make a refresh to show them as different again, but this may take a very long time by using rules based comparision.
            Greetings Lutz
          4. Scooter says:
            February 20th, 2007 at 9:32 am Lutz,
            Thanks for the explanation. It seems like you want to just temporarily make certain files disappear. Wouldn’t the “Exclude” command suit your purposes here?
          5. Lutz says:
            February 21st, 2007 at 12:40 am Hi Erik,
            the “Exclude” command lets easily disappear the files, but to show them up again it’s neccessary to open the “file filters” dialog and delete the file names manually. If I have an open session with some predefined file filters I also have to search them and the session settings change unintentional.
            So this is not really useful in comparision with just clicking one button of the toggled display filters.
            Greetings Lutz
          6. Michael Bulgrien says:
            February 21st, 2007 at 3:46 pm Lutz,
            What if there were a “Show Ignored” button on the toolbar that hid everything but ignored files, and what if Ignored files just had a green square next to them, but the text color remained the same as it was before they were ignored (red, blue, black, etc.)?
            I think the combination of these enhancements would give you the same functionality you had before without backing out the recent changes to conflict/difference handling.
          7. Lutz says:
            February 22nd, 2007 at 12:32 am Hi Michael,
            thats exactly what I mean.
            In Cirrus 423 there was a button “Show Resolved” which could be used to show resolved files (green squares AND text) INDEPENDENT of same, unique, etc. if “Display Filter Mode” was set to “Toggles”.
            Your suggestion is more than this. I think different colors for squares and text would be much better.
            “Show Ignored” should work as “Show Same”, etc. and should not affect other display filters.
            Greetings Lutz
            PS: It dosen’t matter if the function is named ‘Resolved’ or ‘Ignored’.
          8. Scooter says:
            February 22nd, 2007 at 11:15 am Our viewers have two kinds of display filters. There are the “Favorites” (such as Show All, Show Differences, Show Differences But Not Orphans) which offer common filter scenarios. Then there are the “Toggles” which represent the various comparison states and which you can set in any combination. (In BC2, they were called Composite and Component filters.) Favorites are easier to use, while Toggles allow you more combinations.
            My guess it that most users use Favorites (or Dropdown, which is a different flavor of Favorites), and a minority use Toggles to get more specific control over the filtering. Lutz and Erik use Toggles.
            The issue at hand is granularity of the Toggle states. When we introduced the Resolved state, we gave it a separate toggle. In the last release we dropped that toggle and lumped Resolved/Ignored in with the Same state. It obviously gives more power and flexibility to have the separate toggle, but Erik found it annoying to have to toggle it in addition to the Same toggle. His argument is that if you want to ignore a difference, it should be handled like an exact match, just like “Ignore Unimportant Differences”. BC does not offer separate toggles for “unimportant” differences.
            Michael, I don’t think adding another button is the answer. If we want to expose Ignored items, it will likely be via the additional toggle.
            From a consistency point of view, I tend to agree with Erik if we continue to call this state “ignored”. But from a practical point of view I’m uneasy with lumping “ignore this difference” totally in with “ignore unimportant differences”. Also, I’ll generally pick flexibility over convenience in the Toggles design.
            I’m leaning towards restoring the separate toggle for this state, and rethinking the model and behavior of the Resolved/Ignored feature.
            Everyone: Does anyone else use the Toggle filters? Has anyone else used the Resolved/Ignored feature to help manage a directory comparison? Or a file comparison?
          Last edited by Lutz; 16-Dec-2010, 07:03 PM.


          • #6
            Thanks for pulling this together, Lutz. I remember this discussion. And I agree with the original poster of this thread just as I agreed with you back then that it would be useful to be able to hide/show unimportant differences...whether those differences be unimportant due to a grammar rule...or whether they were explicitly ignored by the user from the right-click context menu.

            What is really being asked for here is the ability to hide/show items outside of the normal filters. In other words, it would be nice to be able to create a custom multi-item selection then right-click on the selection and hide/collapse every item in that selection (whether those items be files in a folder compare or lines in a text compare). From that point on, the hidden attribute of these items would override the filters. They would remain hidden no matter what favorite filter or toggle combination might be in play until the user explicitly unhides them again.

            I envision new drop-down menu commands such as:
            Hide line
            Hide section
            Hide selection

            In a folder compare, there is a button to suppress the file filters. Suppressed files (those not showing due to file filters) display in a teal color. I envision a similar button to suppress the hidden attribute on items marked as "Hidden" by the user so that they display in another color (gray, perhaps) giving the user a visible handle by which to unhide items. While the hidden attribute is suppressed, the drop-down menu commands listed above would be replaced with:

            Unhide line
            Unhide section
            Unhide selection

            Of course, there could be a handful of other drop-down menu commands that are always available:

            Hide all ignored differences
            Hide all unimportant differences
            Unhide all ignored differences
            Unhide all unimportant differences
            Unhide all hidden items

            As Tim expressed at the end of the archived discussion, adding another toggle is probably not the best approach... but supporting a hidden attribute as described in this post would be a powerful and extremely flexible addition to Beyond Compare that should meet Lutz's needs, kfank's needs, and the needs of anyone else (myself included) who has ever wished that they could hide an item outside of the standard filters for any reason whatsoever.

            One more reason to implement support of such a hidden attribute: It would bring Beyond Compare one step closer to being able to implement code folding. Now, that would rock!
            Last edited by Michael Bulgrien; 17-Dec-2010, 03:47 AM.
            BC v4.0.7 build 19761


            • #7

              So, if I understand the request, the user wishes to mark and "Ignore" a large section of text, and then only view the remaining text (equal, different, or otherwise).

              But what would be the next step in this comparison? To then view only the different text? Because then Craig's suggestion would still work exactly the same way, but just in 1 step instead of 2). Or if the user does not want to hide that text, then wouldn't, for this session, All grammar items and Everything else text be considered Important, and the "ignored" text be considered Unimportant?

              By changing the Session Settings, you can make different text Important or Unimportant for different sessions, depending on what needs to be compared.

              Is the issue that the two levels of differences are important and helpful for your comparison? Using the Blue differences not as "Unimportant" and more as "Less Important"?
              Or is it more an issue with the ease of an Adhoc comparison?

              We do have a wishlist item open that I think relates to this subject: having Ignored as a 3rd savable status case (originally proposed by Michael, I believe.) This sounds related and could be working into that concept or design.
              Aaron P Scooter Software


              • #8
                I think this can be articulate in this way:

                There are three distinct functions here that would be very helpful in certain circumstances:
                1. Hide lines that match Rule (regular expression) - a Toggle to Hide_Unimportant_Lines would suffice
                2. Exclude lines (matching rules) from Comparison altogether - this would imply, though, that matching lines would be either shown as Orphan Lines or hidden from view (which Hide_Unimportant_Lines would do) - if you go with this, you could call it Hide_Excluded_Lines
                3. I would like to be able to Hide Orphan Lines within text files, just like I can Hide Orphan Folder in Folder Compare View - obvious name for this function is Hide_Orphan_Lines


                • #9
                  To clarify:

                  It would help to consider that when comparing lines in text files, each line will fall into one of the following categories:
                  > line matches other side exactly
                  > line matches by with differences (using normal algorithm)
                  > line does not match the other side - it is an orphan line

                  Regarding the reference to Sections above, it would be good to be able to create match rules with precedence, such that you could create rules for matching Section Header lines first, then next find matching lines within the section (but not after the next matching Section Header line. Kind of like hierarchical matching.


                  • #10

                    1. We do have a toggle to hide Unimportant lines. It is on the toolbar next to the display filters as a squiggly equal sign. Once enabled, any blue text is changed to black, and treated as if it were equal (removable with a Show Differences display fitler).

                    2. Would this be kind of like a Folder Compare filter? You want to define a regular expression grammar and always remove it from the file, regardless of comparison status?

                    3. We have this in Toggles mode. Right click the Display Filters and switch to Toggles mode. Each toggle is individually enabled or disabled, and includes Left or Right changes as separate toggles.
                    Aaron P Scooter Software