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Resolving Conflicts in Folders




Ellié Computing Merge proposes two modes for folder comparison: simple comparison and merge. The comparison mode is made to get maximum place to see differences when you are not concerned with modifying the files or when you prefer to reconcile the differences by hand. Merge mode is tailored to give you a presentation of the difference oriented toward problems or "conflicts".

Depending on your needs several scenarios will apply.

Here is the global approach:

  1. decide which folders should be updated, you can decide that at start or any time before you write your job to the folders.
  2. go to the Document options and decide which rules apply for the whole tree, use the "2-way rules" or "3-way rules" panel to set default resolution rules
  3. if you decide that some situations should not get a single rule, let those situations unresolved and move in the directories tree with the navigation buttons to get to the conflict, you can then decide what to do using the file differentiation or merge views. Use the right-click menu to launch differentiation process, you can launch the process for a full sub-tree, only the files that are different will show to reduce the memory used
  4. you can use all the resolve buttons to assign particular actions to individual items (or to whole sub-trees)
  5. once you're OK with some items, you can use right-click "Write result" for these particular items or use the main "Write all results" button

Now here are some cases:

  • Mirroring a folder to one or several targets: there are two approaches:
    1. open the wanted folders, select the Mirror options in Document options/rules panel, select the output folders and write. The items that are identical will not be rewritten to optimize time
    2. select the files and folders in one panel and drag them to the target panel, the Generic Copy dialog box appears, you'll be able to select various options and then simulate or run the copy.
  • Mixing the job of two developpers:
    • preferrably, use the 3-way mode since start: the first time that you share your work, produce two folders, the one in which the developper will work and a reference folder. Then each time that you merge update the reference and your folder (and as well his folder if possible), so that the latest common point is remembered, lowering the amount of manual merge
    • if you cannot setup a reference folder, use 2-way mode and merge by hand the development files
    • in both cases, you will generally use the "Resolve by merging" button or menu item to get the proper result
    • for the files that cannot be compared internally, you can launch an external viewer to see the difference and then choose the right version to keep using the "Keep this version" right-click menu option or the "Keep left/right/ancestor" menu options and buttons
  • Cleaning redundant directories:
    • use the 2-way mode, choose only of them as output, use the Document options/2-way rules panel and choose "Remove" for the identical items, let the other unresolved, then write the results
  • Making a filtered copy:
    • use the 2-way mode, go to the Document options/Filename filters: select what you want to keep and exclude
    • for example, with right side as output, you can decide to clean the target directory using the Remove action for "File present only at right side", while copying new files there

Buttons and menus

Their actions apply to the selection. You can use the "Select All" menu (Ctrl+A) to make them apply to the whole directories tree.

  • Flying toolbar
    Any time your mouse hovers a conflict, the flying toolbar shows. It gives access to the most frequently used actions.
  • Contextual menu
    See Contextual Menu presentation
  • Buttons
Resolve the item using the oldest file, applies to items that are different (other will not get affected)
Resolve the item using the most recent file, applies to items that are different (other will not get affected)
Resolve by keeping the orphan item
Resolve by removing orphan item

Resolve the item respectively with left, middle (ie. ancestor) or right versions
The Resolve with ancestor button is available only in 3-way mode

These buttons applies to all situations, if the matching is deleted, a removal operation will occur in the output folders if necessary

  Unresolves the item

Presents all the classes and what to do for them, if you let some of them to 'Let unresolved' items of those classes will not be touched by the action

Merges the present version together, opening a view to let you finish the job. If you launch several merges, from which some did not have conflicts, those merges will remain in background and views won't be created for them
Writes all the defined results to the disk, items for which a defined rule or a default rule gave a result are written. They are also marked as written , such items are not written again unless the marker is removed or appears as  (written partially: it happens when newly selecting folders as result folders). Merged items (2-way or 3-way) are never written again and never get the 'written partially' marker, because a merge operation is not a stable operation (i.e. redoing the same operation will not necessarily lead to the same result).
This button shows the Write Merge Results dialog box which allows you to simulate and/or run the actual merge.
Refreshes only portions of the tree that changed since last comparison, hence, most of the time, the view will not even blink. If some items changed out of the control of the application, they are compared again.

  Files comparisons launched from folders comparison

When using the "Resolve by merge" button , situations with conflicts will open file merge views (a view is systematically open if a single line is selected). You will use this view to first solve the conflict and then save the result to the folder. For that purpose, you will use the "Save and solve" button . Pressing this button will validate and write immediately the results, it will also show the written marker for this item  . The matching folder item will get the 'merged' status and will indicate "Nothing to do" in the "Remain actions" column.
When you launch several merge actions at the same time (with a selection of multiple items or by selecting a folder), many views may open, you can break the process at a time by pressing 'Cancel' in the progression box that will appear. The files for which the merge process could find a reasonable solution are marked with "Auto-merge success", the synthetic result of the merge is kept in memory and nothing is written yet.