Random thoughts, ideas and experiences

TortoiseSVN directory diff

Recently, I tossed out Eclipse for a simpler Vim + TortoiseSVN development environment. I’ve used Eclipse for several years and love the integration. However, the 30 second startup time has always discouraged me from starting it up too often. Not to mention the 100+ MB installation size, excessive memory usage and tedious setup and update process. Eclipse rocks and I miss the environment every day, but I need something faster and more nimble that can adapt to my 10 minute coding sessions.

I evaluated a whole bunch of potentially lighter tools but nothing fit me like I wanted. I’ve always been a Vim fan so that ended up being the only way to go. After spending a day customizing it to my needs (another pain-ridden process that had discouraged me in the first place) I have a setup that I can take anywhere with me. I’ll write about my Vim configuration in the near future. Now that I had my editor, I needed an SVN client and TortoiseSVN was a no brainer in that department.

TortoiseSVN has every feature that I need including integration with Araxis Merge, something I missed with Eclipse. But for whatever reason, I was unable to get it to display the “Diff” option when I right clicked on a folder. Now, I like to check my diffs a whole bunch of times before I deliver anything so multiply that with several file changes across multiple directories and it soon gets too tedious. Right clicking every single file, one at a time to see the changes I had made was just not acceptable.

Why TortoiseSVN was not displaying the diff option made no sense but I found an alternative. Just make the following registry changes and you are good to go. You will get a “TortoiseDiff” right-click option and that will bring up the directory diff. The disadvantage is that every folder will display this menu option but at least the option is available.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


@=”\”C:\\Program Files\\TortoiseSVN\\bin\\TortoiseProc.exe\” /command:diff /path:\”%1\””

Select the code above and save it to a text file called tortoisediff.reg. Make sure the path to TortoiseProc.exe is correct. Then double click the file and it will update your registry. As usual, make these changes at your own risk.

For more TortoiseSVN command line options, check out this page. Turns out you can automate a lot of stuff pretty easily.

Filed under: Tips

2 Responses

  1. RVW says:

    To show differences for a directory using TortoiseSVN:

    Right click the desired directory->TortioiseSVN->Check for Modifications.
    Right click the individual files and compare with base to see how they differ.

  2. BW says:

    I had the same problem.
    Using TortoiseSVN on the folder, CreatePatch gives a very nice, color coded list of all changes in the folder.

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