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What is WinMergeQT?

WinMergeQT is an experimentation project for porting WinMerge to QT. There are lots of open questions we need to get answers before starting the real work. Hopefully lots of this experimentation code can be later used in the real product.

Discussion forum is at WinMerge forums.


Why bother?

Currently WinMerge is Windows-only software. It currently uses MFC for its GUI. This has two major downsides:

  • MFC is Windows-only
  • MFC is non-free and code using it cannot be compiled with free tools

Nowadays people are switching from Windows to using Linux. And they would like to use same tools in Linux than they used in Windows. There are good compare tools for Linux, but they require learning new tools and don't have the same features WinMerge has.

Lacking of free tools to compile/develop WinMerge is very big issue. It prevents people from compiling WinMerge without commercial compiler. And hence prevents people helping with WinMerge development.

Current code

Like mentioned above WinMerge code uses MFC for GUI. Earlier WinMerge uses MFC all over its code but in last couple of years lots of code has been converted to use STL to replace many MFC classes (lists, strings etc). Its been a goal to limit MFC use only to GUI code. That goal is not yet met since there is some code that is hard to convert due to certain dependencies etc.

So lots of lower level code is usable without MFC. And lots of this code can be used without major modifications in QT-based WinMerge too.

External Libraries we use (expat, pcre, scew) are already cross-platform.