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Comparing and Merging Files

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18.1 Suggested Projects for Improving GNU diff and patch

One should be able to use GNU diff to generate a patch from any pair of directory trees, and given the patch and a copy of one such tree, use patch to generate a faithful copy of the other. Unfortunately, some changes to directory trees cannot be expressed using current patch formats; also, patch does not handle some of the existing formats. These shortcomings motivate the following suggested projects.

18.1.1 Handling Multibyte and Varying-Width Characters  Handling multibyte and varying-width characters.
18.1.2 Handling Changes to the Directory Structure  Handling changes to the directory structure.
18.1.3 Files that are Neither Directories Nor Regular Files  Handling symbolic links, device special files, etc.
18.1.4 File Names that Contain Unusual Characters  Handling file names that contain unusual characters.
18.1.5 Outputting Diffs in Time Stamp Order  Outputting diffs in time stamp order.
18.1.6 Ignoring Certain Changes  Ignoring certain changes while showing others.
18.1.7 Improving Performance  Improving performance.

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