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'Kaleidoscope 2' Lets Users Quickly Spot Differences in Code, Text and Images

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot



    Black Pixel has announced the release of its first major in-house app, Kaleidoscope 2, an app that helps coders, writers and others to compare the differences in folders, images, text, and more.

    The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino has a lengthy interview with the team behind the app, including former Apple employee Michael Jurewitz, who left Apple for the company earlier this year. Panzarino describes the app thusly:
    Black Pixel acquired Kaleidoscope and Versions last year, as well as the popular RSS reader NetNewsWire. Version 2 of Kaleidoscope is the first major bit of software that Black Pixel has put its own name on -- previously, the company focused on developing apps for outside clients.

    Kaleidoscope 2 is currently available as a public beta with a 15-day trial. Users can purchase it during the beta period for $34.99, half off the final retail price of $70.

    Article Link: 'Kaleidoscope 2' Lets Users Quickly Spot Differences in Code, Text and Images
  2. iP1
    macrumors newbie

    I always use DiffMerge to compare code. It's free and works like a charm :)
  3. macrumors 6502


    Was hoping this was related to Kaleidoscope theme switcher from OS 9 days.
  4. NAG
    macrumors 68030


    Could they please port this to iOS? As far as I'm aware, nothing even close to this exists for iOS.
  5. macrumors 6502a

  6. macrumors 603


    As an existing Kaleidoscope user, I suggested the folder compare feature to them (hardly an original idea, already is in Apple's FileMerge); so great to see that incorporated. Black Pixel / Sofa make nice, polished Mac apps, Versions is a very nice subversion client as well.

    Kaleidoscope 2 is quite pricey though, for something that has free alternatives. I'd consider it if there was a much cheaper upgrade path, but even $35 seems a bit much - I can't see it selling for $70.
  7. macrumors 604

    Out of interest, what would you be comparing on an iOS device?
  8. macrumors newbie

    34.99 @ half off. No thank you

    There are so many better free alternatives. With Kaleidoscope you cant even choose the options on how you diff text files. No ignoring whitespace, no ignoring case. All they added was a way to diff folders and as someone stated before this has been in Apples FileMerge forever.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    This is a hackers dream! Compare the new code verses the old and see where they might have patched a vulenbility. Write an exploit and infect users who have not upgraded to the latest patch. BAM.
  10. macrumors G3


    $70 for something that is available for free in many other apps? Nah.
  11. NAG
    macrumors 68030


    Images, text files. You know, a good deal of what this app compares (obviously it would be somewhat weird for it to compare filesystems since iOS has limited access to that beyond remotely logging in to a server).
  12. macrumors 6502

    Total Commander in Windows., It is great productive tool
  13. RMo
    macrumors 65816

    You can already do that (assuming you have the source code and the knowledge to figure it out, of course). Diff utilities, of which this is partially a glorified version, already exist, and coders already know how to use them.

    And, of course, if you just have the binary, you probably won't have much luck here.
  14. macrumors 604

    Seriously? This post made me pause and I am not even sure where to start. :( There is nothing in this app's functionality that will help a "hacker" do anything.


    Interesting idea. From a technical point of view it would be tricky to get this kind of an app through the app store, if it did more than compare images.
  15. macrumors regular

  16. macrumors regular


    Yeah I don't think they've done a good job of explaining what's unique about this app that warrants the price tag. FileMerge is a free tool that comes with Xcode, and Xcode itself now has built-in diff as part of the scm tools…

    I was pretty annoyed when I purchased Kaleidoscope 1 only to discover that it had no merge functionality. Diff'ing with no merge?! I should have read the fine-print, as I simply took it for granted that a tool built for showing differences between files would have some basic mechanism for doing something with those changes. Lesson learned. A glossy website does not make a good product.

    A standalone, paid-for diff tool seems kinda pointless when at half the price you can get something like Tower or Cornerstone that's actually a complete GUI for source control.

    Something's a bit off with this stuff. The other app that Black Pixel acquired is Versions. That's actually an SVN client, but with the gaping hole that it doesn't support merging —*which makes it more or less useless, since diff'ing and merging is kinda the whole point of using scm. Hopefully, now that BP have figured out an implementation for merging, that Versions 2 is on the horizon with the same capability.

    So, Kaleidoscope was a diff tool that couldn't merge.

    Versions was a SVN tool that could branch and tag, but not merge.

    I hope they don't have the audacity to charge existing users for features that should have been present from day 1?
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Both Versions and Kaleidoscope were originally written by SOFA. Black Pixel had nothing to do with their creation. If you're looking for someone to blame, it's SOFA- for their horrible post-purchase software support and tendency to abandon things the moment they came out.

    AFAIK, Kaleidoscope 2 is the first "new" product from Black Pixel ever since they took over Versions and Kaleidoscope. So at least they're willing to include the features that should have been there to begin with. But you can't really fault them for charging money for it- after all, they're the ones who had to foot the development bill to bring the app up into useful shape.

  18. macrumors regular


    Yeah, I gotcha. Still, a lot of people got burned on both Versions and Kaleidoscope. I hope that BP's acquisition of the apps means that both will see further development.

    It's a tough sell though. While Versions languished, apps like Cornerstone have just rocked through. It's going to be tough to get Versions to where Cornerstone is now (even with merge capability). Let alone to supersede it, especially with the popularity of git and apps that cater to that (such as Tower).

    Likewise, Kaleidoscope might be unique in its image-diff capabilities, but after the terrible experience with Kaleidoscope 1, I wonder if BP have acquired a lame horse. I suppose they wouldn't have picked it up if they didn't see any potential in it, so I'd be pleasantly surprised.
  19. macrumors newbie

  20. Guest

    Paying for a beta :D
  21. macrumors 65816


    I loved Kaleidoscope, permits me to see all the files and go back and forth to review code.

    But at 35$ for a beta and 70$ at full price, that's too much.

    I could use kdiff3, but it has a display bug for me since Lion and not as Mac friendly as KS.

    Ah well, when I need merge, it is "-t opendiff"...
  22. macrumors 6502a

    I work as a web developer and we have guys who run Windows in virtual machines 24/7 simply to use Beyond Compare for real compare/merge. NOTHING on OS X compares to the necessary and comprehensive features it has.

    If K2 covers our needs, shelling out $70 a license won't be a problem. After all, pros pay $1200+ for Creative Suite for each member of their designer & developer teams. People doing this for real need pro software and know they have to pay for it.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Glassed Silver

    kdiff3 hands down, people.
    Don't kid yourselves and go for that instead.

    I wish there were ready binaries available for the latest build though, because my attempts at compiling are unsuccessful. meh.

    Glassed Silver:mac
  24. macrumors newbie

    Requires 10.7!

    Not much use for development, where you have to run on OS X at least back to 10.6, most Mac users are on 10.6 or earlier.
  25. macrumors 65816


    Do you have the issue where the bottom half of the application window is just blank? Requires a refresh to display? Started with Lion and was never fixed... well, with the 0.9.95 binary.

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