Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kaleidoscope 1.0

Kaleidoscope is a new file comparison utility. As you’d expect from Sofa, the interface is pretty. It seems oriented towards designers, with some nifty ways of comparing images. It also has some good ways of comparing text files, but it doesn’t support editing or even applying changes. There’s an interesting tabbed interface so that you can see multiple pairs of files at once—rather than in sequence, as with some other tools. It doesn’t do folder comparisons like BBEdit or Changes. Overall, I think it’s prettier but less useful than Changes, with the same basic drawback: it isn’t quite integrated enough to fit into my workflow. I want more than the ability to set it as an external git diff tool.

Lately, I’ve been using GitX for viewing and accepting/rejecting diffs and BBEdit for deeper comparisons and editing. GitX is great for comparing against the HEAD and staging, but it doesn’t make it easy enough to get at previous versions of a given file or tree. And with BBEdit you’re totally on your own. Hopefully, one of these days BBEdit will get first-class Git support or I’ll have time to make some code contributions to GitX.

7 Comments

Too bad that it can't edit the files. I usually compare files because I need to merge changes.

I fully agree about GitX. Interestingly, the creator of GitX Pieter de Brie joined Sofa recently... Not sure what could come out of this.

[...] or even applying changes” and “it doesn’t do folder comparisons”, Michael Tsai points out two jarring [...]

Yeah, I downloaded it and set it up with my StarTeam client. It's pretty and displays diffs well. But that's it! All I can see is the file differences, I can't merge anything, edit, nada. This makes it 'pretty' worthless for me. I will be going back to DiffMerge for now :)

Have you had a look at Araxis Merge? It's not cheap but it supports pretty much all know SCMs, is a real native/Cocoa Mac app (not a crappy Wxwidget or QT port), does full directory compares, etc.

@Eric It looks as though Araxis Merge’s Git integration is not very deep, along the lines of what Kaleidoscope offers.

@Eric I am not sure if the QT port reference was for GitX, but GitX is built using the Cocoa frameworks and uses a native OS X interface. Even if not as beautiful as Versions or Cornerstone, it works very well and provides enough basic features and UI to make it very useful.

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