Comparing for text conflicts

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Lee.Hauser
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Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:15 pm Post

Does anyone have some hints for comparting conflicting texts on iOS?

This morning I had a Dropbox conflict. Not a big deal, really, but now I have a 2800+ word document in my conflicts folder and no indication of what the differences are between it and the 2800+ word document in the original folder.

In Linux (where I run Scrivener under Wine) I'd just pull up Beyond Compare to look at the differences. Does the conflict folder even show up in the Windows version? (My laptop isn't available at the moment or I'd check myself.)

I'm just trying to think of a good way to do this that doesn't take an hour or more of my life doing something a computer should be doing for me, or at least helping with.

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markfasano
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Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:17 am Post

Lee.Hauser wrote:Does anyone have some hints for comparting conflicting texts on iOS?

This morning I had a Dropbox conflict. Not a big deal, really, but now I have a 2800+ word document in my conflicts folder and no indication of what the differences are between it and the 2800+ word document in the original folder.

In Linux (where I run Scrivener under Wine) I'd just pull up Beyond Compare to look at the differences. Does the conflict folder even show up in the Windows version? (My laptop isn't available at the moment or I'd check myself.)

I'm just trying to think of a good way to do this that doesn't take an hour or more of my life doing something a computer should be doing for me, or at least helping with.


I can't think of any non-kludgy way to do what you want in WinScriv, TBH. The conflict folder will show up in WinScriv, but the application doesn't have a snapshot comparison function like MacScriv does, so you'd need to export the two files to an application like Word to compare them. It shouldn't take an hour or more.

If you do export the conflicted files out of WinScriv into something like Word make sure there's actually a conflict. A couple of weeks ago I had a Dropbox conflict turn up and when I exported the original file and conflicted file into Word (via cut and paste), they were exactly the same: same word count, same character count, no Word comparison conflict detected. Yet Scrivener had the word counts as being different.

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narrsd
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Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:01 am Post

Beyond Compare sounded interesting, so looked it up. Actually there are Windows and Mac versions as well as Linux, and besides the free trial month, even the $30 personal edition will do folder compares.

But then I had a thought towards what could be done with another similar and very well thought of comparison tool, which is completely free as well as very good, given you are on Windows, and that is WinMerge (winmerge.org). And found it would also do folder compares, including ability to jump into file contents compares for any files found to differ.

Both of these are sort of technical, programmers' tools really, but with a little thought aren't hard, especially if you just want to see what's different. Which you definitely should limit to, and just use Scrivener's tools to merge any conflicts, as this is the way to assure your project remains consistent.

They use color coding to highlight any differences down to single characters, which allows you see easily if it's just whitespace changes, perhaps from a tidying up.

I don't know an easier way to chase down what you want to, except the wonderfully more pictorial but still similar difference tools built into the IDEA software constructor frameworks, a little out of the question here.

Best fortune on it; hope the Snapshot comparisons will be in the kit of the coming Scrivener 3 matched between Mac and Windows.

Consider the extra I wrote here to be hopefully helpful advice for non-software persons, as reading over, it looks like you have some experience there yourself.

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narrsd
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Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:38 am Post

Well, something more. Late as it is here, I was reading up something else (a behavioral/practice-model framework for better understandings towards innovation, if you must know), and thought back to this topic somehow. I looked up something about snapshots, and came across the blog of Silverdragon, who often posts here.

She has quite a detailed article about dealing with conflicts on iOS alone, which is here (there's nearby quite a good article also on resolution when you have a Mac or Win PC available):

https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/ios-scrivener-resolving-ios-only-sync-conflicts-scrivenerapp/

Could be useful towards your cause, seems...and when I look, iDiff seems to be free now...

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narrsd
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Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:20 pm Post

Just to add, the iDiff version which allows you to check differences is free; the one that allows you to make changes is $1.99, as Silverdragon says.

All that simplification in iOS, sometimes gets you ;)

Bon voyage, Silverdragon!

C.

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Silverdragon
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Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:29 pm Post

Thanks, Narrsd!
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction. I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.4, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2; iPhone 8+, iPad 6th gen; iOS 13.1.3
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

Le
Lee.Hauser
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 2:44 pm
Platform: Win + iOS
Location: Federal Way, Washington

Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:14 pm Post

Not long after posting the question, I found TextComp in the Apple store. The free version worked quite well for what I needed. It was a little clumsy, but comparing the two files showed that there was one sentence in one that wasn't in the other. If I'd had to read both chapters it would have taken forever to discover that simple difference. I hadn't heard about iDiff before finding this, but since I haven't paid anything yet, I'll check it out as well.

This is all part of an effort to make my iPad my primary computing device. I know I can't eliminate my laptop, but I want to make it a secondary machine. I certainly could have waited until I got home and checked out the conflict on my laptop, but it's much better if I can do it on the iPad.

On the laptop, BeyondCompare is one of the best investments ever. I actually use it for folder syncing and backup more than I do for text comparison. It's a great piece of software on any platform.

Thanks to all for the responses!