TarDiff compares the contents of two tarballs and reports on any differences found between them. Its use is mainly for release managers who can use it as a QA tool to make sure no files have accidently been left over or were added by mistake. TarDiff supports compressed tarballs, diff statistics and suppression of GNU autotool changes.
The tool is currently distributed as a simple perl script without any further files.
Who is the author of TarDiff?
The tools has been written by Josef Spillner who no longer wanted to compare all tarballs by hand. It is certainly aimed at GNU autotools tarballs (created by 'make dist(check)') but should be usable for others as well.
What other QA/release tools are worth a look?
Well there would be cvs2cl for one. Also check out the autobook, and have a look at automated build setups such as pbuilder.
How would I work with TarDiff?
Run, for instance: tardiff myprog-0.1.tar.gz tardiff-0.2.tar.gz. Depending on the options (see --help), the output will then look like:
tardiff --list --modified myprog-0.1.tar.gz tardiff-0.2.tar.gz README - the README hasn't changed at all (such files can be hidden) + ChangeLog - you added ChangeLog to version 0.2 / myprog.c - the file myprog.c has been changed (+/- stats on the diff can be shown) - myprog.h - myprog.h has been removed from the tarball (oops?!)