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Textconv support #1328

carlosmn opened this issue Feb 9, 2013 · 3 comments


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commented Feb 9, 2013

Textconv is a way of transforming binary[1] data into something we can feed into our xdiff. Typical use-cases for this are letting exif show us an image's metadata, or transforming a PDF or Word file into plain text. Or even transforming an UTF-16/32 file into UTF-8.

We should allow the user to hook into our diffs in order to provide diff-able representations of data. Git does this via file extensions, which seems like a reasonable starting point. We can then go crazy with the rules as useful ones crop up.

The registered functions would get a buffer with the contents and give us the textual representation of the data.

/cc @arrbee @brianmario

[1] binary means that our xdiff can't show a sensible diff with it, regardless of what the data inside is meant to represent.


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commented Dec 21, 2017

Thought I might take a look at this but seeing as how this is such an old issue wondering if there is any prior art...


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commented Feb 2, 2018

This would be nice. GitLab, for example, is unable to show UTF-16 diffs, apparently due to this issue. See


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commented Feb 2, 2018

Ref: #4461

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