I haven’t yet found a suitable “diff” application for the Mac that is as good as Beyond Compare for Windows. Under Linux it isn’t a problem as Beyond Compare can run fine under a Wine environment, which is unfortunately not available on the PPC platform.

As the unix “diff” program is commonly available, I followed up its manpage to see what parameters were available to adequately report a listing of different files within two separate directories. The following command meets my demands appropriately:

diff -rq --ignore-matching-lines=$Id: --exclude=.svn --exclude=.DS_Store dir1 dir2

This recursively scans dir1 and dir2 to list different files, while ignoring “$Id:” strings within files and “.svn” directories. Any (Mac specific) “.DS_Store” directories are also excluded from the listing.

I created an alias for this to save retyping the whole command each time I need it:

alias oscdiff='diff -rq --ignore-matching-lines=$Id: --exclude=.svn --exclude=.DS_Store $1 $2'

I can then use that as simple as:

oscdiff dir1 dir2

This helps me when I work on my own development branch and when it is time to commit to /trunk/, can make sure that all changes have been merged over.

Link to Article: http://blogs.oscommerce.com/2006/07/26/diff-for-mac/