diffxml and patchxml: new XML-aware diff/patch utilities
05:15, 7 Jun 2002 UTC | Michael Smith

Adrian Mouat has released diffxml and patchxml, new open-source Java-based utilities for diff'ing and patching XML files.

Mouat created diffxml and patchxml to meet the following list of criteria:

  • An output format that is good for patching changed files

  • A fast and accurate algorithm

  • The ability to handle large files

  • An open source license

  • Not strongly tied to a particular XML parser

  • Has an independent and fully specified output format

  • Support for including extra context information in diff output (necessary to produce good patches for documents other than those from which the delta was computed)

In part, Mouat seems to have created diffxml because none of that criteria is met completely by any of the other existing "XML diff" utilities:

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Re: diffxml and patchxml: new XML-aware diff/patch utilities (Adrian Mouat - 23:01, 11 Jun 2002)

I should just say that diffxml and patchxml are alpha software - don't expect them to be completely stable.

Also although the diff utility is capable of producing context output the patch utility does not currently make use of it.

Anyway please try the utilities and send me any feedback.

Re: diffxml and patchxml: new XML-aware diff/patch utilities (Steve Baker - 09:55, 7 Jun 2002)

DecisionSoft offer xmldiff, an open-source Perl program which uses their open-source, Perl xml pretty-printer and the standard diff program. It is a particularly simple and elegant solution. See: and

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