Issue 115007 - Allow for three-way merge of documents
Summary: Allow for three-way merge of documents
Alias: None
Product: General
Classification: Code
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOO320m9
Hardware: Unknown All
: P3 Trivial (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: needhelp
Depends on:
Reported: 2010-10-10 09:30 UTC by msettenvini
Modified: 2014-01-29 14:37 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description msettenvini 2010-10-10 09:30:52 UTC
One of the problems me and my team (8-9 people) encounter daily is to merge
documents we are working together on concurrently. We have a VCS solution set
up, which allows us to keep versioned all our changes.

However, when two or more people try to commit concurrently, we have conflicts,
and we end up with three files:
 * a "document.odt.BASE" file, containing our work before the changes
 * a "document.odt.THIS" file, containing the work of the committer
 * a "document.odt.OTHER" file, containing the work of the other committer

As of now, we use the "Compare document..." feature from the "Edit" menu; it
works, but it's pretty cumbersome because you've to be extra-careful not to lose
any changes, since it's a two way merge. We do that between the ".THIS" and the
".OTHER" files.

The main difficulty lies in the fact that the tool may require you to *delete*
something that was *added* in the other document, because you don't have it, but
of course you want to keep that (99% of the times).

It would be really beneficial to add a tool to perform a three-way merge, much
as it happens for source files in software project; we really need that to save
us a lot of time and I think it would be a killer feature for us to motivate
also other people in our workplace to switch to OOo.

This tool (in our opinion) should:
  * allow you to pick you BASE, THIS, and OTHER file.
  * show you the changes in a way much like the "Compare document" tool, but
with two different columns for the THIS and OTHER file.
  * allow for automatically applying all non-overlapping changes.
  * highlighting overlapping changes, so that you can manually solve them.

The main idea is the same of the "diff3" tool.

You can test why this is difficult by simply opening an existing document, and
making changes in different parts of it and saving it with a different filename;
then go back to the original one, do the same again and save it with yet another
filename. Compare them and try to understand what to keep and what not: it's hard.

Our technical writers, software architects and project managers would be
eternally grateful for this :-).