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libtext-worddiff-perl 0.05-1
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Name
    Text::WordDiff - Track changes between documents

Synopsis
        use Text::WordDiff;

        my $diff = word_diff 'file1.txt', 'file2.txt', { STYLE => 'HTML' };
        my $diff = word_diff \$string1,   \$string2,   { STYLE => 'ANSIColor' };
        my $diff = word_diff \*FH1,       \*FH2;       \%options;
        my $diff = word_diff \&reader1,   \&reader2;
        my $diff = word_diff \@records1,  \@records2;

        # May also mix input types:
        my $diff = word_diff \@records1,  'file_B.txt';

Description
    This module is a variation on the lovely Text::Diff module. Rather than
    generating traditional line-oriented diffs, however, it generates
    word-oriented diffs. This can be useful for tracking changes in
    narrative documents or documents with very long lines. To diff source
    code, one is still best off using Text::Diff. But if you want to see how
    a short story changed from one version to the next, this module will do
    the job very nicely.

  What is a Word?
    I'm glad you asked! Well, sort of. It's a really hard question to
    answer. I consulted a number of sources, but really just did my best to
    punt on the question by reformulating it as, "How do I split text up
    into individual words?" The short answer is to split on word boundaries.
    However, every word has two boundaries, one at the beginning and one at
    the end. So splitting on "/\b/" didn't work so well. What I really
    wanted to do was to split on the *beginning* of every word. Fortunately,
    _Mastering Regular Expressions_ has a recipe for that:
    "/(?<!\w)(?=\w)/". I've borrowed this regular expression for use in
    Perls before 5.6.x, but go for the Unicode variant in 5.6.0 and newer:
    "/(?<!\p{IsWord})(?=\p{IsWord})/". With either of these regular
    expressions, this sentence, for example, would be split up into the
    following tokens:

      my @words = (
          'With ',
          'either ',
          'of ',
          'these ',
          'regular ',
          "expressions,\n",
          'this ',
          'sentence, ',
          'for ',
          'example, ',
          'would ',
          'be ',
          'split ',
          'up ',
          'into ',
          'the ',
          'following ',
          'tokens:'
      );

    Note that this allows the tokens to include any spacing or punctuation
    after each word. So it's not just comparing words, but word-like tokens.
    This makes sense to me, at least, as the diff is between these tokens,
    and thus leads to a nice word-and-space-and-punctation type diff. It's
    not unlike what a word processor might do (although a lot of them are
    character-based, but that seemed a bit extreme--feel free to dupe this
    module into Text::CharDiff!).

    Now, I acknowledge that there are localization issues with this
    approach. In particular, it will fail with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
    text, as these languages don't put non-word characters between words.
    Ideally, Test::WordDiff would then split on every charaters (since a
    single character often equals a word), but such is not the case when the
    "utf8" flag is set on a string. For example, This simple script:

      use strict;
      use utf8;
      use Data::Dumper;
      my $string = '뼈뼉뼘뼙뼛뼜뼝뽀뽁뽄뽈뽐뽑뽕뾔뾰뿅뿌뿍뿐뿔뿜뿟뿡쀼쁑쁘쁜쁠쁨쁩삐';
      my @tokens = split /(?<!\p{IsWord})(?=\p{IsWord})/msx, $string;
      print Dumper \@tokens;

    Outputs:

      $VAR1 = [
                "\x{bf08}\x{bf09}\x{bf18}\x{bf19}\x{bf1b}\x{bf1c}\x{bf1d}\x{bf40}\x{bf41}\x{bf44}\x{bf48}\x{bf50}\x{bf51}\x{bf55}\x{bf94}\x{bfb0}\x{bfc5}\x{bfcc}\x{bfcd}\x{bfd0}\x{bfd4}\x{bfdc}\x{bfdf}\x{bfe1}\x{c03c}\x{c051}\x{c058}\x{c05c}\x{c060}\x{c068}\x{c069}\x{c090}"
              ];

    Not so useful. It seems to be less of a problem if the "use utf8;" line
    is commented out, in which case we get:

      $VAR1 = [
                '뼈',
                '뼉',
                '뼘',
                '뼙',
                '뼛',
                '뼜',
                '뼝',
                '뽀',
                '뽁',
                '뽄',
                '뽈',
                '뽐',
                '뽑',
                '뽕',
                '뾔',
                '뾰',
                '뿅',
                '뿌',
                '뿍',
                '뿐',
                '뿔',
                '뿜',
                '뿟',
                '뿡',
                '?',
                '?쁑',
                '쁘',
                '쁜',
                '쁠',
                '쁨',
                '쁩',
                '삐'
              ];

    Someone whose more familiar with non-space-using languages will have to
    explain to me how I might be able to duplicate this pattern within the
    scope of "use utf8;", seing as it may very well be important to have it
    on in order to ensure proper character semantics.

    However, if my word tokenization approach is just too naive, and you
    decide that you need to take a different approach (maybe use
    Lingua::ZH::Toke or similar module), you can still use this module;
    you'll just have to tokenize your strings into words yourself, and pass
    them to word_diff() as array references:

      word_diff \@my_words1, \@my_words2;

Options
    word_diff() takes two arguments from which to draw input and an optional
    hash reference of options to control its output. The first two arguments
    contain the data to be diffed, and each may be in the form of any of the
    following (that is, they can be in two different formats):

    *   String

        A bare scalar will be assumed to be a file name. The file will be
        opened and split up into words. word_diff() will also "stat" the
        file to get the last modified time for use in the header, unless the
        relevant option ("MTIME_A" or "MTIME_B") has been specified
        explicitly.

    *   Scalar Reference

        A scalar reference will be assumed to refer to a string. That string
        will be split up into words.

    *   Array Reference

        An array reference will be assumed to be a list of words.

    *   File Handle

        A glob or IO::Handle-derived object will be read from and split up
        into its constituent words.

    The optional hash reference may contain the following options.
    Additional options may be specified by the formattting class; see the
    specific class for details.

    *   STYLE

        "ANSIColor", "HTML" or an object or class name for a class providing
        "file_header()", "hunk_header()", "same_items()", "delete_items()",
        "insert_items()", "hunk_footer()" and "file_footer()" methods.
        Defaults to "ANSIColor" for nice display of diffs in an ANSI
        Color-supporting terminal.

        If the package indicated by the "STYLE" has no "new()" method,
        "word_diff()" will load it automatically (lazy loading). It will
        then instantiate an object of that class, passing in the options
        hash reference with which the formatting class can initialize the
        object.

        Styles may be specified as class names ("STYLE => "My::Foo""), in
        which case they will be instantiated by calling the "new()"
        construcctor and passing in the options hash reference, or as
        objects ("STYLE => My::Foo->new").

        The simplest way to implement your own formatting style is to create
        a new class that inherits from Text::WordDiff::Base, wherein the
        "new()" method is already provided, and the "file_header()" returns
        a Unified diff-style header. All of the other formatting methods
        simply return empty strings, and are therefore ripe for overriding.

    *   FILENAME_A, MTIME_A, FILENAME_B, MTIME_B

        The name of the file and the modification time "files" in epoch
        seconds. Unless a defined value is specified for these options, they
        will be filled in for each file when word_diff() is passed a
        filename. If a filename is not passed in and "FILENAME_A" and
        "FILENAME_B" are not defined, the header will not be printed by the
        base formatting base class.

    *   OUTPUT

        The method by which diff output should be, well, *output*. Examples
        and their equivalent subroutines:

            OUTPUT => \*FOOHANDLE,   # like: sub { print FOOHANDLE shift() }
            OUTPUT => \$output,      # like: sub { $output .= shift }
            OUTPUT => \@output,      # like: sub { push @output, shift }
            OUTPUT => sub { $output .= shift },

        If "OUTPUT" is not defined, word_diff() will simply return the diff
        as a string. If "OUTPUT" is a code reference, it will be called once
        with the file header, once for each hunk body, and once for each
        piece of content. If "OUTPUT" is an IO::Handle-derived object,
        output will be sent to that handle.

    *   FILENAME_PREFIX_A, FILENAME_PREFIX_B

        The string to print before the filename in the header. Defaults are
        "---", "+++".

    *   DIFF_OPTS

        A hash reference to be passed as the options to
        "Algorithm::Diff->new". See Algorithm::Diff for details on available
        options.

Formatting Classes
    Text::WordDiff comes with two formatting classes:

    Text::WordDiff::ANSIColor
        This is the default formatting class. It emits a header and then the
        diff content, with deleted text in bodfaced red and inserted text in
        boldfaced green.

    Text::WordDiff::HTML
        Specify "STYLE => 'HTML'" to take advantage of this formatting
        class. It outputs the diff content as XHTML, with deleted text in
        "<del>" elements and inserted text in "<ins>" elements.

    To implement your own formatting class, simply inherit from
    Text::WordDiff::Base and override its methods as necssary. By default,
    only the "file_header()" formatting method returns a value. All others
    simply return empty strings, and are therefore ripe for overriding:

      package My::WordDiff::Format;
      use base 'Text::WordDiff::Base';

      sub file_footer { return "End of diff\n"; }

    The methods supplied by the base class are:

    "new()"
        Constructs and returns a new formatting object. It takes a single
        hash reference as its argument, and uses it to construct the object.
        The nice thing about this is that if you want to support other
        options in your formatting class, you can just use them in the
        formatting object constructed by the Text::WordDiff::Base class and
        document that they can be passed as part of the options hash
        refernce to word_diff().

    "file_header()"
        Called once for a single call to "word_diff()", this method outputs
        the header for the whole diff. This is the only formatting method in
        the base class that returns anything other than an empty string. It
        collects the filenames from "filname_a()" and "filename_b()" and, if
        they're defined, uses the relevant prefixes and modification times
        to return a unified diff-style header.

    "hunk_header()"
        This method is called for each diff hunk. It should output any
        necessary header for the hunk.

    "same_items()"
        This method is called for items that have not changed between the
        two sequnces being compared. The unchanged items will be passed as a
        list to the method.

    "delete_items"
        This method is called for items in the first sequence that are not
        present in the second sequcne. The deleted items will be passed as a
        list to the method.

    "insert_items"
        This method is called for items in the second sequence that are not
        present in the first sequcne. The inserted items will be passed as a
        list to the method.

    "hunk_footer"
        This method is called at the end of a hunk. It should output any
        necessary content to close out the hunk.

    "file_footer()"
        This method is called once when the whole diff has been procssed. It
        should output any necessary content to close out the diff file.

    "filename_a"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the "FILENAME_A"
        option to word_diff().

    "filename_b"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the "FILENAME_B"
        option to word_diff().

    "mtime_a"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the "MTIME_A" option
        to word_diff().

    "mtime_b"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the "MTIME_B" option
        to word_diff().

    "filename_prefix_a"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the
        "FILENAME_PREFIX_A" option to word_diff().

    "filename_prefix_b"
        This accessor returns the value specified for the
        "FILENAME_PREFIX_B" option to word_diff().

See Also
    Text::Diff
        Inspired the interface and implementation of this module. Thanks
        Barry!

    Text::ParagraphDiff
        A module that attempts to diff paragraphs and the words in them.

    Algorithm::Diff
        The module that makes this all possible.

Support
    This module is stored in an open repository at the following address:

    <https://svn.kineticode.com/Text-WordDiff/trunk/>

    Patches against Text::WordDiff are welcome. Please send bug reports to
    <bug-text-worddiff@rt.cpan.org>.

Author
    David Wheeler <david@kineticode.com>

Copyright and License
    Copyright (c) 2005-2008 David Wheeler. Some Rights Reserved.

    This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the same terms as Perl itself.