Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

General questions about using ExamDiff Pro, ideas for new features, bug reports, and usage tips.
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Goerge255
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Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by Goerge255 »

How to enable pure binary comparison?
By pure I mean: "byte by byte" comparison for ALL bytes in the files and with differences highlighted in BOTH panes.

ExamDiff Pro v 3.5.1 insists on defining "added and "deleted" sections, which simply make no sense in a binary file, when a user wants an offset 0 to be always compared with offset 0, 1 with 1, 2 with 2, 3 with 3, etc...

Identical size binary files DO NOT have "added" and "deleted" segments, because changing a byte from 0x00 to 0xAA is not an addition - it is a change!
Conversely changing a byte from 0xAA to 0x00 is not a "deletion" - it is a change!

Enabling the "View Filter", only with the options: "View Changed Segments" and "View Identical Segments", does not solve the problem because ExamDiff Pro does not display the whole file with such settings. Arrrrrrggghhh

I tried all combinations of settings with and without "view filter" - to no avail.

The best I could do is to highlight some differences only in one pane, while the second pane displays gray background with no text on it for corresponding bytes.

Of course I read your FAQ and forums, but could not find any solutions in them.

If you still do not understand what I mean by pure "byte by byte" comparison, take a look at http://www.fairdell.com/hexcmp/
The above application does pure binary comparison but it is very limited (for example it cannot tile the windows horizontally).

Regards,
George
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Post by psguru »

There's no way to treat every diff as Changed. ExamDiff will insist on treating bytes as Added, Deleted, or Changed.
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Goerge255
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Post by Goerge255 »

But that makes no sense in equally sized binary files!

A change of a byte from e.g. 0x04 to 0x00 is not a deletion - it is still a change (from 4 to 0)

Such functionality is FUNDAMENTAL in any diff tool.
I am shocked that an advanced tool such as ExamDiff does not offer pure binary comparison, which is offered by many simpler tools!


Regards,
George
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Post by psguru »

Well, it's just something to be implemented in a future version then.
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Post by Goerge255 »

..either that or rename ExamDiff Pro to TextDiff Pro

Its text comparison functions are excellent!

Regards,
George
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Post by AlexL »

Hello, Goerge255.

This issue probably has some relation to the forthcoming feature mentioned here:
viewtopic.php?p=1492&highlight=#1492
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by AlexL »

This is dummy post in order to note relation between this thread and the other thread, which describes similar problem:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=559
Goerge255
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by Goerge255 »

Well, it's 4years later and ExamDiff still has no byte-by-byte comparison for binary files !!!
No way to meaningfully compare bmp, png, mp3, exe, dll, etc...

This makes the whole developer community shun ExamDiff and reach for other tools such as this one http://www.fairdell.com/hexcmp/
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by AlexL »

Colleague just asked me to show difference in binary files (using simple byte-to-byte view), and appeared that I still can't do it in ExamDiff Pro v4.5.
I voted for it in wish list, but this fact did not help my colleague.
Is it implemented in v5 (I don't have it yet)? Or is it going to be implemented soon?

Partial workaround is:
Options->Binary->Comparison block size->Set it to 2 or more (instead of default 1).
There are some cases when it partly helps.
MSpagni
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by MSpagni »

Me too, I would like it to be implemented in EDP.
Anyway, in the meantime ;-) I keep using
FC /B <filename1> <filename2>
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by AlexL »

MSpagni wrote:Me too, I would like it to be implemented in EDP.
Anyway, in the meantime ;-) I keep using
FC /B <filename1> <filename2>
I use this and other methods of comparing. But "modern" people want something like EDP.
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Re: Pure binary comparison (byte by byte). All bytes

Post by MSpagni »

Me too, I'm "modern" ;-)
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