Beyond Compare IDE Expert


Jeremy North
November 2009

The Beyond Compare IDE Expert adds new functionality to previous Delphi IDE's

It allows for comparing the current version of a file against a version in history; or in another location on your hard disk. Comparing between files currently open is also possible (good if you modify VCL files) and also comparing folder contents.

NOTE: Screenshots on this page are from the latest shipped version. Actual screens may vary slightly depending on the version you are using.

HISTORY

November 17. 2009
- Initial Release for Delphi 2010

June 27, 2007
- Initial Release (Delphi 2007)

August 18, 2007
- Initial Release (Delphi 2006)

DOWNLOAD

Embarcadero® Delphi® 2010
CodeGear™ Delphi® 2007
Borland® Developer Studio (Delphi 2006)
Turbo Professional (Delphi)

INSTALLATION

  1. Extract the contents of the ZIP file to your folder of choice.
  2. Shutdown the IDE version you are installing for.
  3. Run BCInstall.exe
  4. Make sure the Install check box is selected (should be checked by default).
  5. Accept the default Destination folder, or change to a new destination folder. If the destination folder doesn't exist, it will be created for you.
  6. Restart the IDE.

Start Installation Screen Successful installation

Installation success dialog created with TJSDialog

Installing for Turbo Professional
Use the Delphi 2006 installation package

NOTE:
You can change the destination folder for the BC2007.dll (BC100.dll) file. When you do select a different destination folder only the BC2007.dll file is copied to the destination folder.
The destination folder will be created if it doesn't already exists.
When uninstalling you can choose to delete the BC2007.dll (BC100.dll) file from your system. This is the only file that will be deleted though.

FUNCTIONALITY

When installed correctly a new item is added to the edit menu. This item is called "Compare" and has six sub menu items.

History Compare History Compare

Grabs the currently selected file and displays the available history versions to compare against.

NOTE:
This functionality requires either Version 3 of Beyond Compare or the freely available BCDiffer.exe application. The BCDiffer application is available from the Registered Users page for BDS2006.

Compare File Buffer Compare current buffer

This command is only active when the selected source or form is modified.

Compare Files Compare File to...

Grabs the currently selected file and prompts for another file to compare the contents against.

Compare Open Files Compare Files open in editor...

Displays a dialog that lists the currently opened file editors in the IDE. You can then select two files to compare. I am particularly interested on UI feedback on this dialog. I'm not overly happy with it, so suggestions are welcome! This might seem like an odd item, but I needed it one day - so implemented it.

Compare Open Files Dialog The dialog lists all files that are currently opened in the IDE.

To select the two files you want to compare either double click on them. The prompt in the bottom left corner of the screen lets you know which side the selected file will appear on.

You can also select a file from the list and then click either the Set as Left File or Set as Right File.

Compare File to Original Source File Compare File to Original Source File (NEW for 2010)

Allows you to compare a local version of a file that shipped with the IDE to its original file. This means if you have a local source file that you have modified you can now easily compare it to its original form.

Compare Folders Compare Folder to...

Grabs the folder of the currently selected file and prompts for another folder to compare the contents against.

Launch Beyond Compare

Runs Beyond Compare

Project Manager context menu items

There is also further functionality available via the Project Manager context menu. The project manager context menu has the following items:

    History Compare
    Compare File to...
    Compare Folder to...
    Launch Beyond Compare
These items are also child items of a Compare menu item found in the Edit sub menu.

ADVANCED SAVE PROMPT

NOTE: This feature is not available in the Delphi 2010 version (under Vista or Windows 7) because of IDE changes

After installing the Beyond Compare IDE Expert into your IDE you now have an updated Save Prompt. When you go to close a file that hasn't been saved yet the new prompt allows you to compare unsaved changes.

The old save prompt

Old save prompt

The new save prompt

New save prompt

New save prompt is a TJSDialog


As you can see the new save prompt has some new features.
  1. A new button labelled View Changes
  2. Radiobuttons to choose which file to view the changes of (when the file being closed has a form associated with it)
When you click on the View Changes button, Beyond Compare will start and allow you to compare the current unsaved* buffer to the previously saved version of the file. For source files you can actually modify the unsaved buffer and have these changes applied when you return to the save prompt and select the Yes button.
Currently you can only view changes associated with a form file.

Some files do not support using the View Changes button. In these circumstances the View Changes button is disabled. One example for when the View Changes button is disabled is when the save prompt is about saving a Project Group.


* A temp file is created in your system temp directory.

ITEMS OF NOTE

KNOWN ISSUES

  1. When comparing a forms current buffer to the previously saved form you cannot merge changes. The comparison is read only.

DISCLAIMER

This software is a provided as-is. The author accepts no liability for code loss due to the use of this IDE Expert.

ABOUT BEYOND COMPARE

Beyond Compare is an awesome comparison tool that I couldn't work without. It has an easy to use interface with many features that will enhance the efficiency with which you compare and merge your source code.

The latest version of Beyond Compare includes Inline Editing and 3 way merging plus many other enhancements. For more information on upcoming features in the new version be sure to browse the user forums.

Download the Trial of Beyond Compare at: www.scootersoftware.com

ABOUT DELPHI

For more information about Delphi visit the Embarcadero website: www.embarcadero.com

PURCHASING A LICENSE

You do not have to pay to use the Beyond Compare IDE Expert.

If you would like to donate I suggest you purchase one of my other products that is for sale on my website. You can also contact me directly for my PAYPAL account details if you prefer.

This software is provided to the Beyond Compare users that also use Delphi (2006 and/or 2007) for FREE.

CONTACT

Jeremy North
Comments, requests and bugs

jeremy.north@gmail.com
www.jed-software.com

www.jed-software.com