What is meant with common folders on a folder comparison?

What is meant with common folders on a folder comparison?

6
NewbieNewbie
6

    Aug 01, 2018#1

    Hello, 

    Can someone explain to me the concept of 'common folders'.

    Please look at the three included pictures showing the session settings; the compare results with show common folders on and compare with show common folders off. I am using the basic compare. I'm using UltraCompare version 18.00.0.86 on a Windows 10 64 bit machine.

    In the compare of the 2 folders it shows the results of files that are different between them but it actually doesn't show all files unless I have the 'common folders' enabled/displayed.

    With show common folders checked there are a couple of folders in white at the top (left side) with a file each in red below them; these files clearly do not show in the same white folders on the right side so those are definitely files that are different; good so far. Further down on the same picture it shows a folder on the left in red with a couple of files in red and on the right side it shows no folder or file; again, that is correct. but when I uncheck the 'show common folders' the first file on the left shown is the red one from the red folder; NOT the ones from the white folder(s). What gives? It made me think that only files will show from red folders but when I look a bit further down, it DOES show the files from a white folder so there goes my theory.

    So, I don't get it. Can someone look at this and help me out.

    Thank you, much appreciated.
    Gary
    Show common files off.JPG (218.35KiB)
    Show common files on.JPG (270.28KiB)
    Folder compare session settings.JPG (101KiB)

    6,605547
    Grand MasterGrand Master
    6,605547

      Aug 02, 2018#2

      You are interpreting filter option Show common folders like Show equal folders which cause your confusion.

      An enabled Show common folders results in showing the folders which exist on both side independent on what these folders contain, i.e. only equal files/subfolders or also one or more different files/subfolders or files/subfolders existing only on one side (unique files/folders).

      A disabled Show common folders results in hiding the folders which exist on both side independent on what these folders contain.

      An enabled Show common files results in showing the files which exist on both side independent on being equal or different.

      A disabled Show common files results in hiding the files which exist on both side independent on being equal or different.

      It is not recommended to disable Show common folders and Show common files on a recursive folder comparison, except you want to see only files and folders which exist either only on left or only on right side, i.e. only unique files and folders, whereby with disabled Show common folders also unique files and subfolders existing in a folder existing on both side are made also hidden. Therefore a disabled Show common folders makes nearly always only sense on doing a non-recursive folder comparison.

      By the way: The image format PNG is much better for screen shots than JPEG. PNG is supported by all applications supporting also JPEG.
      Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

      6
      NewbieNewbie
      6

        Aug 03, 2018#3

        Thank you Mofi,

        So the issue I'm seeing where some files are missing from the view when I disable common folders is because I should not do that with Recursive compare selected? Because it sure looks like a bug.

        If you look carefully on the first picture it looks like you should be able to scroll higher to see the 3 missing files but you can't as your at the top. The first file listed with common folders checked on is ASUS RT-AC66U router serial #.jpg whereas, with show common folders checked off shows digicap.dav even though the ASUS file should be there because its different. If its because I shouldn't be disabling common folders during a recursive compare then I'll accept that.

        And I will use PNG in future, JPG is what was set as default on my PC.

        Cheers
        Gary

        6,605547
        Grand MasterGrand Master
        6,605547

          Aug 03, 2018#4

          There is no bug. Everything is displayed correct on both images.

          Once again: By disabling Show common folders you tell UltraCompare:
          • I want to see from parent folder of both sides only folders with exist either only on left side OR only on right side.
          • I want to see nothing from a folder which exists with same name on both sides.
          Example:

          Code: Select all

          Left Folder               Right Folder
          |   File 1                |
          |   File 2                |   File 2
          |                         |   File 3
          |                         |
          +---Folder A              |
          |       File A1           |
          |       File A2           |
          |       File A3           |
          |                         |
          +---Folder B              +---Folder B
                  File B1           |
                  File B2           |       File B2
                                    |       File B3
                                    |
                                    +---Folder C
                                            File C1
                                            File C2
                                            File C3
          
          The Left Folder contains File 1 which the Right Folder does not contain. So it is a unique file. The display of this file is controlled only by filter option Show unique files.

          The Left Folder contains File 2 which the Right Folder contains too. So it is a common file. The display of this file is first controlled by filter option Show common files.
          File 2 is not displayed if option Show common files is not enabled independent on which size and which date File 2 has in Left Folder and in Right Folder.
          But if Show common files is enabled the visibility of this file name depends on file date/size of File 2 in both folders and on the filter options Show equal files and Show different files.

          The Left Folder does not contain File 3 which the Right Folder contains. So it is a unique file. The display of this file is controlled only by filter option Show unique files.

          The Left Folder contains Folder A which the Right Folder does not contain. So it is a unique folder. The display of this folder is controlled only by filter option Show unique folders.

          The Left Folder contains Folder B which the Right Folder contains too. So it is a common folder. The display of this file is first controlled by filter option Show common folders.
          Folder B is not displayed if option Show common folders is not enabled. Everything within Folder B is filtered out. The folder exists with same name on both sides and for that reason nothing of this folder should be displayed with a disabled option Show common folders. Unique or common subfolders, equal or different files, ... it does not matter. Folder B should not be displayed and that's it.
          But if Show common folders is enabled, this folder is interpreted like Left Folder and Right Folder according to visibility of files and subfolders in Folder B.

          The Left Folder does not contain Folder C which the Right Folder contains. So it is a unique folder. The display of this folder is controlled only by filter option Show unique folders.

          In other words with unchecking Show common folders anything from a folder existing with same name on left and on right side is made hidden. All files and subfolders are ignored from a folder existing with same name on both sides.

          So unchecking Show common folders does not make sense on having executed a recursive folder comparison. You want to see all the differences in entire folder tree of folder on left side in comparison to entire folder tree of folder on right side. It does not make sense on a recursive folder comparison to hide all folders existing already in the parent folders Left Folder and Right Folder just because of having same folder name.

          Show/hide common files/folders can be also written as show/hide files/folders with same file/folder name.

          In attached ZIP file is my test folder structure and the comparison result with and without showing common folders using UltraCompare Professional v18.00.0.86 with UC theme Sterling on Windows 7 with Windows Classic theme. It can be seen that Folder B exists on left and on right side. There are unique and common files (File B2 is common and equal) and there are unique and common subfolders (Subfolder X is common but different) in Folder B. But after disabling Show common folders all those differences do not matter anymore, Folder B and everything below is removed from display on both sides.
          folder_compare_demo_common_folders.png (41.32KiB)
          The folder comparison results display with and without showing common folders.
          folder_compare_demo_common_folders.zip (3.96 KiB)   45
          This ZIP archive file contains the two compared folders with all subfolders and files.
          Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

          6
          NewbieNewbie
          6

            Aug 08, 2018#5

            Thank You Mofi for taking the time to detail this explanation; it definitely makes sense.  

            However, if you look at my included pictures, the common folder is Hikvision (5th item down); it exists on both sides so it is a common folder; got it. Based on your response if I disable common files then that entire subfolder structure (which includes 1 common subfolder and a whole lot of unique subfolders on the left) should be hidden. But they are not. It starts to display unique files and folders on the left starting at digicap.dav which are all part of the hikvision folder structure. 

            Gary

            6,605547
            Grand MasterGrand Master
            6,605547

              Aug 09, 2018#6

              For the test folder structure I created by myself, now with additional subfolders and files in Folder B, the recursive folder comparison result is exactly as I wrote on using UltraCompare v15.10.0.20 on Windows XP.

              I will investigate this issue further on weekend with UC v18.00.0.86 on Windows 7 and if necessary also with older versions of UC. As the folders D:\Apps\ and F:\DVDBurn\Apps\ contain only the two common folders Drivers and Utilities according to the screen shots, there should be nothing displayed at all after unchecked Show common folders.
              Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

              6
              NewbieNewbie
              6

                Aug 09, 2018#7

                Thank you Mofi for continuing to investigate. I have my folder comparison working as I need it now. So I very much appreciate the explanations, but I am also interested in finding out the results of this seemingly strange item.

                You made an interesting comment; "As the folders D:\Apps\ and F:\DVDBurn\Apps\ contain only the two common folders Drivers and Utilities". So does that mean then that Hikvision, which is a subfolder from Cameras and which, in turn, is a subfolder of Drivers, is NOT a common folder?

                I had assumed, based on your previous explanation of common folders, that you could have common folders at every level of the subfolder tree.

                Gary

                61
                NewbieNewbie
                61

                  Aug 09, 2018#8

                  Setting common=0 (files/folders) is superfluous, since setting equal=0 AND different=0 has the same effect - or is there a situation where that is not the case?

                  6,605547
                  Grand MasterGrand Master
                  6,605547

                    Aug 13, 2018#9

                    Bersch, you are right. Unchecking Show equal folders and Show different folders is the same as unchecking Show common folders. And of course unchecking Show equal files and Show different files is the same as unchecking Show common files.

                    Gary, I found out what causes the confusing folder comparison results display. It can be easily reproduced with the folders and files in ZIP archive file in my previous post.
                    1. The ZIP archive file must be extracted to a temporary folder with extracting also the folder structure.
                    2. All files and subfolders in Left Folder and Right Folder must be deleted with exception of common subfolder Folder B.
                    3. A basic recursive folder comparison with session property Hide common folders must be run in UltraCompare with Left Folder and Right Folder.
                      The result can be seen in upper half of the attached image file. There is displayed absolutely right only ..\Left Folder and ..\Right Folder.
                      What is not right here in my opinion is the [+] symbol left to the folder names because in real the two folders are expanded completely, there is just nothing displayed from the two compared folders.
                    4. Next the [+] left to either ..\Left Folder or ..\Right Folder must be clicked to collapse the two folder trees in background with no change in display.
                    5. Last the [+] left to either ..\Left Folder or ..\Right Folder must be clicked once again to expand the two folder trees in background.
                    This last click results in the confusing display. Now the single file File Y from unique Subfolder Y on left side and the single file File Z from unique Subfolder Z on right side are displayed without their folders and without their common parent folder Folder B. Also the information on status bar is confusing as displayed are only 3 lines, but on status bar is indicated Number of lines = 11.

                    I reported this issue to IDM support by email. I really don't know if this folder comparison results display in this special case is intentional or caused by a bug. It is definitely very confusing for a user of UltraCompare. IDM support has logged this in their tracking system for correction. So it is not an intentional behavior.
                    confusing_hide_common.png (24.34KiB)
                    Confusing display with common folders hidden before and after clicking twice on [+] symbol.
                    Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

                    61
                    NewbieNewbie
                    61

                      Aug 13, 2018#10

                      Many thanks Mofi! Which means no need for the common files/folders switch, but it confuses the user ;)

                      6
                      NewbieNewbie
                      6

                        Aug 15, 2018#11

                        I knew I wasn't going crazy; Thank you Mofi for digging into this. And, yes, that is exactly what I did; I exploded the Apps folder.

                        When I ran the compare with show common folders on it showed what I was expecting from a comparison point of view, but since I didn't understand what common folders were, I tried turning it off. So I could see what it changed and deduce what common folders meant. This then left the single 'apps' entry showing (a single line) with the [+] besides it. That [+] tells me (in normal computer usage) there is "more to see". So I clicked on it which then showed me that very confusing breakdown (first picture above in my original posting). And that then started this whole discussion. I didn't note the number of lines being different, but I see it now that you pointed it out.

                        Furthermore, it doesn't help that UltraCompare 'remembers' that you exploded the Apps folder line so when I was re-running the compare it automatically exploded the Apps folder. It looks like that 'remembering' is session specific as I just deleted the session and re-ran the compare from scratch and it did exactly as you described it with the single 'apps' folder line. Since I like to save my sessions (and I would assume others would as well for often repeated comparisons) this means that other users who explode that single line would continue to be confused by the way it displays this with show common folders off.

                        If I'm confused, and I work in IT, then I'm sure others will be as well so I'm all for disabling this feature or, better yet, disabling it by default but allowing power users to enable it in the settings.

                        Cheers
                        Gary

                        6,605547
                        Grand MasterGrand Master
                        6,605547

                          Oct 21, 2018#12

                          UltraCompare for Windows v18.10.0.38 has the enhancement not showing anymore a [+] or [-] symbol left to a folder which has no subfolders or files to display according to currently active filter settings. So it is no longer possible to get the confusing display with showing subfolders which should not be displayed according to active filter.

                          Update: UltraCompare for Windows v18.10.0.78 fixes also the issue with wrong indication of lines in status bar which occurred in former versions depending on compared folders, used filters and in which order the filter settings are changed by the user.
                          Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

                          6
                          NewbieNewbie
                          6

                            Oct 24, 2018#13

                            That's awesome! Thank you so much for championing this Mofi and nice to see that the company resolved the issue this quickly, I am sure it will help others out there.

                            Cheers