Neil Fraser edited this page Feb 13, 2018 · 10 revisions

The Diff Match and Patch libraries offer robust algorithms to perform the operations required for synchronizing plain text.

  1. Diff:
    • Compare two blocks of plain text and efficiently return a list of differences.
    • Diff Demo
  2. Match:
    • Given a search string, find its best fuzzy match in a block of plain text. Weighted for both accuracy and location.
    • Match Demo
  3. Patch:
    • Apply a list of patches onto plain text. Use best-effort to apply patch even when the underlying text doesn't match.
    • Patch Demo

Originally built in 2006 to power Google Docs, this library is now available in C++, C#, Dart, Java, JavaScript, Lua, Objective C, and Python.

Reference

Languages

Although each language port of Diff Match Patch uses the same API, there are some language-specific notes.

A standardized speed test tracks the relative performance of diffs in each language.

Algorithms

This library implements Myer's diff algorithm which is generally considered to be the best general-purpose diff. A layer of pre-diff speedups and post-diff cleanups surround the diff algorithm, improving both performance and output quality.

This library also implements a Bitap matching algorithm at the heart of a flexible matching and patching strategy.

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