File: colordiff.xml

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colordiff 1.0.9-1
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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE refentry PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
 "/usr/share/sgml/docbook/dtd/xml/4.1.2/docbookx.dtd" [
 <!ENTITY diff "<command>diff</command>">
 <!ENTITY colordiff "<application>colordiff</application>">
]>

<!-- mostly borrowed from bogofilter's bogofilter.xml file, originally
     by eric raymond -->

<refentry id='colordiff.1'>
  <refmeta>
    <refentrytitle>colordiff</refentrytitle>
    <manvolnum>1</manvolnum>
  </refmeta>

  <refnamediv id='name'>
    <refname>colordiff</refname>
    <refpurpose>a tool to colorize &diff; output</refpurpose>
  </refnamediv>

<refsynopsisdiv id='synopsis'>
  <cmdsynopsis>
    <command>colordiff</command>
    <arg><replaceable>&diff; options</replaceable></arg>
    <arg><replaceable>&colordiff; options</replaceable></arg>
    <arg choice='req'><replaceable>file1</replaceable></arg>
    <arg choice='req'><replaceable>file2</replaceable></arg>
  </cmdsynopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>

<refsect1 id='description'><title>Description</title>

<para>&colordiff; is a wrapper for &diff; and produces the same output as
&diff; but with coloured syntax highlighting at the command line to improve
readability. The output is similar to how a &diff;-generated patch might appear
in <application>Vim</application> or <application>Emacs</application> with the
appropriate syntax highlighting options enabled. The colour schemes can be
read from a central configuration file or from a local user
<filename>~/.colordiffrc</filename> file.</para>

<para>&colordiff; makes use of ANSI colours and as such will only work when
ANSI colours can be used - typical examples are xterms and Eterms, as well as
console sessions.</para>

<para>&colordiff; has been tested on various flavours of Linux and under
OpenBSD, but should be broadly portable to other systems.</para>

</refsect1>

<refsect1 id="usage"><title>Usage</title>

<para>Use &colordiff; wherever you would normally use &diff;, or pipe output
to &colordiff;:</para>

<para>For example:

<screen>
$ colordiff file1 file2
$ diff -u file1 file2 | colordiff
</screen>

</para>

<para>You can pipe the output to 'less', using the '-R' option (some systems or
terminal types may get better results using '-r' instead), which keeps
the colour escape sequences, otherwise displayed incorrectly or discarded by
'less':

<screen>
$ diff -u file1 file2 | colordiff | less -R
</screen>

</para>

<para>If you have <command>wdiff</command> installed, colordiff will correctly
colourise the added and removed text, provided that the '-n' option is given to
<command>wdiff</command>:

<screen>
$ wdiff -n file1 file2 | colordiff
</screen>

</para>

<para>You may find it useful to make &diff; automatically call
<command>colordiff</command>. Add the following line to
<filename>~/.bashrc</filename> (or equivalent):

<screen>
alias diff=colordiff
</screen>

</para>

<para>Any options passed to &colordiff; are passed through to &diff; except for
the colordiff-specific option 'difftype', e.g.</para>

<screen>
colordiff --difftype=debdiff file1 file2
</screen>

<para>Valid values for 'difftype' are: diff, diffc, diffu, diffy, wdiff, debdiff;
these correspond to plain diffs, context diffs, unified diffs, side-by-side
diffs, wdiff output and debdiff output respectively.  Use these overrides when
colordiff is not able to determine the diff-type automatically.</para>

<para>Alternatively, a construct such as 'cvs diff SOMETHING | colordiff' can be
included in <filename>~/.bashrc</filename> as follows:

<screen>
function cvsdiff () { cvs diff $@ | colordiff; }
</screen>

</para>

<para>Or, combining the idea above using 'less':

<screen>
function cvsdiff () { cvs diff $@ | colordiff |less -R; }
</screen>

</para>

<para>Note that the function name, cvsdiff, can be customized.</para>

</refsect1>

<refsect1 id='files'><title>Files</title>

<variablelist><varlistentry>
  <term><filename>/etc/colordiffrc</filename></term>
  <listitem><para>Central configuration file. User-specific settings can be
  enabled by copying this file to <filename>~/.colordiffrc</filename> and
  making the appropriate changes.</para></listitem></varlistentry>
  <varlistentry><term><filename>colordiffrc-lightbg</filename></term>
  <listitem><para>Alternate configuration template for use with terminals having
  light backgrounds.  Copy this to /etc/colordiffrc or ~/.colordiffrc and
  customize.</para></listitem>
</varlistentry></variablelist>

</refsect1>

<refsect1 id='bugs'><title>Bugs</title>

<para>Bug reports and suggestions/patches to <email>davee@sungate.co.uk</email>
please.</para>

</refsect1>

<refsect1 id='author'><title>Author</title>

<para>&colordiff; is written and maintained by Dave Ewart
<email>davee@sungate.co.uk</email>. This manual page and the
source XML was written by Graham Wilson <email>graham@mknod.org</email> for
Debian and is maintained by the author.  Dave Ewart maintains the Debian
package, sponsored by Graham Wilson.</para>

</refsect1>

</refentry>
<!-- vim:set ts=2 sw=2 et: -->