## Diff

### June 8, 2010

The unix program `diff` identifies differences between text files; it is most useful for comparing two versions of a program.

Given the longest common subsequence between two files, which we computed in a previous exercise, it is easy to compute the diff between the two files; the diff is just those lines that aren’t part of the lcs.

Your task is to write a program that finds the differences between two files. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

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### 2 Responses to “Diff”

1. […] Praxis – Diff By Remco Niemeijer In today’s Programming Praxis exercise our task is to write a diff command line tool. Let’s get started, […]

2. Remco Niemeijer said

My Haskell solution (see http://bonsaicode.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/programming-praxis-diff/ for a version with comments):

```import Data.List.LCS.HuntSzymanski

data Change = D | A | C

linenum :: (Int, Int) -> String
linenum (s, e) = if s == e then show s else show s ++ "," ++ show e

header :: (Int, Int) -> String -> (Int, Int) -> IO ()
header l op r = putStrLn \$ linenum l ++ op ++ linenum r

section :: Char -> [String] -> IO ()
section c = mapM_ (\s -> putStrLn \$ c:' ':s)

diff :: String -> String -> IO ()
diff xs ys = f 0 0 (lines xs) (lines ys) where
f n1 n2 = g where
g [] b  = change A [] b
g a  [] = change D a []
g a  b  = case lcs a b of
[]    -> change C a b
(d:_) -> case (head a == d, head b == d) of
(True, True) -> rec 1 1
(True, _   ) -> change A q1 q2 >> rec len1 len2
(_   , True) -> change D q1 q2 >> rec len1 len2
_            -> change C q1 q2 >> rec len1 len2
where [q1, q2] = map (takeWhile (/= d)) [a, b]
[len1, len2] = map length [q1, q2]
rec l r = f (n1+l) (n2+r) (drop l a) (drop r b)

change D a _ = header (n1+1, n1+length a) "d" (n2, n2) >>
section '<' a
change A _ b = header (n1, n1) "a" (n2+1, n2 + length b) >>
section '>' b
change C a b = header (n1+1, n1+length a) "c" (n2+1, n2+length b) >>
section '<' a >> putStrLn "---" >> section '>' b
```