Beyond Compare IDE Expert


Jeremy North
June 2008

The Beyond Compare IDE Expert adds new functionality to the CodeGear™ Delphi® 2007, Borland® Developer Studio and Turbo Professional IDEs.

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.

HISTORY

June 1, 2008
- Update for Delphi 2007

August 18, 2007
- Initial Release (Delphi 2006)

June 27, 2007
- Initial Release (Delphi 2007)

DOWNLOAD

INSTALLATION

  1. Extract the contents of the ZIP file to your folder of choice
  2. Shutdown the Delphi version you are installing for
  3. Run BCInstall.exe
  4. Make sure the Install check box is selected and click on the Install button
  5. Restart Delphi

Start Installation Screen Successful installation

Installation 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 the BCDiffer.exe application installed. This application is available form the Registered Users page for BDS2006. Just copy the BCDiffer.* files into your D2007 folder

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 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 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.

ADVANCED SAVE PROMPT

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.

A new version of Beyond Compare is currenly being worked on with even more features including Inline Editing of files and 3 way merging. 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 2007 visit the CodeGear Delphi website: www.codegear.com/delphi

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