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Converters Options



The controls on this page let you define converters to apply on files at loading time so as to allow conversions from binary to text format for example. This is the primary place to edit converters.

The list contains all the registered converters (active or not). Use checkboxes to enable or disable converters. The  New and Edit buttons will open the Converter details dialog box. Use the Remove button to delete a converter from the list.
Removing a converter can be undone only by cancelling the whole Options dialog box.

An Auto-detection feature is provided with Ellié Computing Merge. This feature allows to configure converters by simply including detection scripts in the 'macros' application folder. We provide a variety of detectors built-in with Ellié Computing Merge. If you think that a particular tool would fit well this purpose and is not built-in, please contact us. We will study the possibility of including a detection script in the main build or in the Add-Ons part of our website (in fact, we'll make all efforts to make it work, but sometimes there is no way!).

Typically if your converter is covered by a plug-in, you just have to install it if it has an installer, or unzip it to the user-converters sub-folder aside ECMerge executable (for Mac OS X, it is within the package content, in Contents/MacOS).  Placing your converters in user-converters sub-folder is particularly practical if you placed ECMerge in a USB stick in its "portable" mode.

If you do not want to ask us for a detection script or the tool is not widely available. Please read and follow the below instructions to add converters.

Currently the converter mechanism is better oriented toward files but is able to handle folders as well. Converters take in fact a path in input and produces something at a location specified by Merge. The input file name is matched against a mask (e.g. *.doc), the converter can do anything you like.

ECMerge colours enabled converters in red when they are hidden by another more generic converter placed before in the list. Such a converter would be indeed never selected by ECMerge for use. The converter which hides another one is coloured in blue.

Each converter contains the following information:

  • a name: used to be displayed in the list.
  • some activation conditions:
    • a pattern and optionally a type of document in Activate for : files or folders matching the pattern will be processed by the given converter, and only if the type document is not specified by the user or is exactly what was specified (e.g. activate filters which output images only when choosing image viewer).
    • OR an activation script: the script is a function body of 'function (filename, expects, child, undecorated_filename)', filename being the $(input) as in arguments, and expects is either undefined if the user did not force a particular comparison type or one of the known scripting document identifiers. The undecorated file name is the filename without SCC related extensions (as .r## of SVN or .mine...). The return value is true if the converter should be activated.
  • a technic to compute the output filename:
    • an output extension: this text is appended to the temporary file name before it is set in  $(output) value. For a bitmap you can use .bmp for example. This option is useful when the converter application selects its output type from this extension. This extension is not particularly used by Ellié Computing Merge for file type detection (it uses the data themselves to determine which type of comparisons to use).
    • OR an output filename script: the script is a function body of 'function (filename, undecorated_filename)', the return value is the filename to use as output. The returned filename must be unique to avoid collision a function is provided by the virtual file system scripting for that purpose.
  • application: path to application to use. Can be a batch file.
  • arguments: arguments to use with the application path. Placeholders  $(input) and  $(output) will be replaced by the appropriate file names with full path. Ellié Computing Merge automatically escapes these parameters so that you do not have to care about spaces inside these arguments. You do not need to put quotes around them.
  • outputs a folder: should be checked for archives expanders, this way Ellié Computing provides a temporary folder rather than a temporary empty file to generate the result
  • use this converter for folders sub-document comparisons: activate this when you want the converter to be used from folders sub-document comparisons. This option is disabled (and cannot be used) if outputs a folder is activated. It is useful to disable
  • check exit code: if this option is checked, Ellié Computing Merge will generate an error message if the converter ("application" field) did not exit with the success exit code. If unchecked, Ellié Computing Merge will assume the converter ran successfully.
  • exit code for success: Success exit code of the application (usually 0).

If a converter is enabled for certain patterns, it will be used to preprocess files matching these patterns prior to comparison. If more that one converter is enabled for a pattern, all of them will be executed one by one in top-down order. You can change the order of converters with the  Move UpMove Down  buttons near the list.

This screen also let you Import/Export converters definitions.

 You cannot save converted files in place, since saving the converted data would destroy the original file. Though, you can edit them and save them elsewhere.

 Use of standard input and output streams: For technical reasons, it is not possible to use the standard input and output stream in converters. Please write a batch such as the following example. Note that under Unices, parameters use the $ prefix in place of % (i.e. $1 in place of %1)

You wish to use a converter with the following arguments:

app_name --options < $(input) > $(output)

Use the stdioconv converters located in the converters directory ( stdioconv.sh for Unix-like, stdioconv.bat for Windows and stdiocon9x.bat for old Win9x Windows) and call them as explained in their sources.

   A converter can take an archive and generate a folder from this archive. This is particularly useful for ZIP, tar or any archive format which can contain several files. You can also use converters for gzip, bzip files and generally any single-file compression formats.

See also