These lines resemble Plan 9 or Unix ed commands to convert file1 into file2. The numbers after the letters pertain to file2. In fact, by exchanging `a' for `d' and reading backward one may ascertain equally how to convert file2 into file1. As in ed, identical pairs where n1 = n2 or n3 = n4 are abbreviated as a single number.
Following each of these lines come all the lines that are affected in the first file flagged by `<', then all the lines that are affected in the second file flagged by `>'.
The -b option causes trailing blanks (spaces and tabs) to be ignored and other strings of blanks to compare equal. The -w option causes all white-space to be removed from input lines before applying the difference algorithm.
The -e option produces a script of a, c and d commands for the Plan 9 or Unix editor ed, which will recreate file2 from file1. The -f option produces a similar script, not useful with ed, in the opposite order. It may, however, be useful as input to a stream-oriented post-processor.
Except in rare circumstances, diff finds a smallest sufficient set of file differences.
|DIFF(1)||Rev: Thu Feb 15 14:42:47 GMT 2007|