Beyond Compare is…Beyond Compare

If you don’t own a copy of Beyond Compare, run right now to your corner vendor and buy it.

There are a few pieces of software I use that truly make my life as a developer better, and Beyond  Compare is one of them. Forget the Web 2.0 hype (more on that subject at another time), here’s what floats my boat in software:

1. It addresses a real problem. Beyond Compare lets you compare two files and see how they differ, if they differ. It works far better than any internal comparison features of source control.

2. It’s stable. I’m sure it’s got bugs, all software does, but I haven’t found any.

3.  It’s elegant. I once had the good fortune to own a Toyota Camry. The car was so amazingly right that if I put my hand out to adjust the radio, the radio just was there. If I wanted to adjust the air conditioning, again, no fumbling, no having to glance at the console. Beyond Compare is like it. If I wonder how I do something, the first place I look gives me the answer.

4. It does more than I expect, but not so much it’s overloaded. I can so easily copy changes from one file or the other. Plus, it intelligently knows when I’ve made changes to the file in a different window, and gives me the opportunity to update the file on view.

5. It’s very affordable. I’m an independent consultant, and I work at a very modest rate, so $300.00 here and $500.00 there for utilities puts a lot of software I’d like to use out of reach. So, I appreciate Beyond Compare’s modest price of 30 bucks USD.

I like using software that challenges me to make software as wonderful.

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3 thoughts on “Beyond Compare is…Beyond Compare

  1. …and you can use its scripting capabilities to integrate with FoxPro to compare tables (or forms, classes, etc…). Simply write some code to convert the subject tables to flat files, sprinkle in a TEXTMERGE, STRTOFILE, and the RUN command — and you’re off to the races!

    I believe they have some information about the scripting abilities on their website.

  2. Thanks, Tod, for making that point. I was moved to post after using BC on some C# source, and so didn’t think of the extensibility. Quite an oversight.

  3. Agreed, it’s a wonderful piece of software at a bargain price. It’s saved me hours and hours of time, and is also a fantastic tool for synchronising changes. We’ve got a client using Macromedia Contribute to edit content on a live server, which is built using ASP.NET. Without BeyondCompare, it would be a *nightmare* to upload changes. With it, there’s no pain at all :-)

    A big thumbs up to Scooter Software for making such a brilliant application, and for selling it at a fair price.

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