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Strange auto alignment with VS Solution Files

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  • Strange auto alignment with VS Solution Files

    I've developed a BC3 plugin to compare VS2010 Solution Files in a sorted manner (it's something like "XML Tidy" for Solution files).

    Now I've observed a strage auto alignment behavior in BC3 3-way merge. You can reproduce it when you open the 3-way merge with the three attached text files "left.txt", "right.txt" and "ancestor.txt". These files are no real solution files, they contain only some snippets, so that you can easily see what I mean.

    In the attachment "3WayMerge_NotProperlyAligned.gif", you can see the result of the merge. The problem is, that BC doesn't see that line "Debug|x86.Build.0 = Debug|Win32" was added on the left side as well as on the right side (compared with "ancestor.txt").

    I would expect that the two added lines (marked yellow in the screenshot) are displayed in BC in the same "physical" line. I experimented with the alignment settings in "Session Settings", but unfortunately I'm not able to get better results. Do you have an idea?

    Now you probably say that I could manually align the lines. The problem is, that we use VERY large Solution Files in our company, so that we sometimes have 20 or more errors like this.

    Nevertheless I tried manual alignment also, but the result is somehow strange: The lines are aligned correctly, but there is still a merge conflict below. In screenshot "3WayMerge_ConflictAfterManualAlign.gif", you can see in the first yellow line, that the manual alignment was successful. But in the second yellow line, you can see that there is still a merge conflict and I can't see why. Could you please shed light on the dark?

    I'm using BC 3.3.4 (build 14431).

  • #2
    Thanks for the example files and picture set. Our Text Merge alignment algorithm does the best it can with the current files, but sometimes can't return the ideal results. Unfortunately, the re-alignment that occurs when you manually re-align a single line isn't as powerful as the tools we offer in the Text Compare session due to the 3-way nature. It is something we are working on, and I'll add these files to our set of test cases on the subject.

    Thanks for compiling it all into a small, easy test case.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. It would be nice if you could fix this problem.
      This is mainly because from a customer point of view, the alignment I described above seems not look so complicated. Even the ugly Visual Studio integrated 3-way merge tool is able to display this situation correctly.

      Apart from that, I *really* like Beyond Compare. I am using it for years now, and it became the most important tool in my daily work.

      Thank you