Tamir Gefen on ALM

Archive for May 2008

I made a new version of CompBL, the free utility which compares ClearCase baselines easily (see two posts below)

What’s new on version 1.0.5:

  • Supporting ClearCase MultiSite PVOBs (Thanks to Mark Toller for the feedbacks!).
  • The output length was limited to be 64KB. Now it is unlimited.
  • The Help menu contains links to manual document, FAQ document and this document.
  • The report has context menu (mouse right-click), so the text can be copied and be pasted to another utility like Email, Word or Excel.

Take it from here, or just see all utility details here.


I have been asked many questions about this free utility, so I decided to collect the common questions into a FAQ document, and publish it in the next release. Meanwhile, I write here a brief FAQ:

Q: I’m using composite baselines. Does this utility support it?

A: Yes! You can filter the displayed components to display only rootless components. Then you have to choose the two composite baselines to compare.

Take into consideration that if you use this feature, you can enhance the output so it includes also the “sub-baselines” names.

Q: I’m using ClearCase-ClearQuest UCM enabled. Does this utility support it?

A: Yes! Since this utility displays the activity names, so if you integrate ClearCase and ClearQuest by using the activities, so you will see the activities names with the ClearQuest convention: <db><id> “<headline> . for example: prod00001234 “fix window bug”.

Of course, if you integrate ClearCase with some other bug-tracking system by using the activities as the integration point, so it can be useful also.

Q: My environments are running on UNIX\Linux platforms. Does this utility support it?

A: If you have cross-platform environment (Windows-UNIX\Linux), the answer is yes. Just run this utility, and it finds your PVOB, then you can do all the rest.

Q: On my daily working, I’m making baselines on both integration stream and development streams. Can I compare them?

A: Yes! When you specify the component, the utility automatically display all its baselines – including all streams!

Furthermore – if you have a component which shared on two projects or more, and you usually make baselines on them, you can compare the content of the projects!

If you use this option, you had better name the baselines with the stream name – it will be easier for you to find the baselines by the stream names.

Q: I’m making incremental baselines. Does this utility support it?

A: Yes! You can compare between full baselines and incremental baselines (but using incremental baselines is not recommended).

Q: Why is the utility expired at the end of month?

A: I would like to verify that you take the most updated release, which includes all new features and fixed bug. This is the easiest way to me to verify it till I make a mechanism for it (or till the release will not be Beta anymore).

A few months ago I looked for a good compare/diff and merge utility, since I needed one with good XML  support.
After I tested a few, I decided to use ‘kdiff’ – an open-source utility.


  • It supports XML UTF-8 very well
  • It is automatically integrated to ClearCase, SVN, CVS and some more CM systems (It automatically replaces the ClearCase ‘map’ file – a very nice feature!)
  • It suppotrs 3-way and 2-way merging.
  • It’s open source 🙂

I wouldn’t give good mark for its graphic design, but it does the work very well.

In fact, it works so well so I used it instead of the built-in ClearCase diff/merge utility and deployed it to all my developers.

Here you can find more details: http://kdiff3.sourceforge.net/


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