22 May 2013 wainstead   » (Master)


I've longed for an implementation of sdiff for Git, but in the meantime I have something that works great on OS X. It requires FileMerge, part of the developer tools from Apple. Hat tip to my friend Dale.

This works when:
  • You are in a branch,
  • the branch differs from master, and
  • the file you're interested in differs in your branch and master.

    The command is:
    git difftool -t opendiff $(git log --pretty=format:%H -1 master -- $1) $(git log --pretty=format:%H -1 HEAD -- $1) -- $1

    (I'm using subshell calls to get the SHAs of the file for the branch and master; a simplified look at the command is:
    git difftool -t opendiff SHA-master SHA-branch -- path/to/file.py).

    I put this in a shell script and call it with the relative path to the file. Git is picky about that relative path; it should be relative to the current directory your shell is in, and a directory that is in the repository.

    Assume you named the script my-sdiff. Example:
    my-sdiff relative/path/to/file.py

    You'll be prompted at the shell with something like:
    Viewing: 'relative/path/to/file.py'
    Launch 'opendiff' [Y/n]:

    Just hit RETURN and FileMerge should open, showing you a side-by-side comparison of the file.

    Vexingly, if you get the relative path wrong, nothing happens! If you don't get the Y/n prompt you probably have the relative path wrong.
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