try.diffoscope.org CLI client

By Chris Lamb

One criminally-unknown new UNIX tool is diffoscope, a diff "on steroids" that will not only recursively unpack archives but will transform binary formats into human-readable forms in order to compare them instead of simply showing the raw difference in hexadecimal.

In an attempt to remedy its underuse, in December 2015 I created the try.diffoscope.org service so that I—and hopefully others—could use diffoscope without necessarily installing the multitude of third-party tools that using it can require. It also enables trivial sharing of the HTML reports in bugs or on IRC.

To make this even easier, I've now introduced a command-line client to the web service:

 $ apt-get install trydiffoscope
 [..]
 Setting up trydiffoscope (57) ...

 $ trydiffoscope /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.deny
 --- a/hosts.allow
 +++ b/hosts.deny
│ @@ -1,10 +1,17 @@
│ -# /etc/hosts.allow: list of hosts that are allowed to access the system.
│ -#                   See the manual pages hosts_access(5) and hosts_options(5).
│ +# /etc/hosts.deny: list of hosts that are _not_ allowed to access the system.
│ +#                  See the manual pages hosts_access(5) and hosts_options(5).

You can also install it from PyPI with:

$ pip install trydiffoscope

Mirroring the original diffoscope command, you can save the output locally in an even more-readable HTML report format by appending "--html output.html".

In addition, if you specify the --webbrowser (or -w) argument:

$ trydiffoscope -w /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.deny
https://try.diffoscope.org/gaauupyapzkb

... this will automatically open your default browser to view the results.


Chris Lamb is a freelance software developer and the current Debian Project Leader. You can read other posts by me, see software I have written or read more about me. You can also follow me @lolamby.


Tags: GNU/Linux Python Hacks

Planets: ALUG UWCS WUGLUG Debian

Sunday 14th August 2016