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    George Wenzel supported this idea  · 
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    George Wenzel commented  · 

    I'm comparing configuration files for Alcatel DSLAMs (similar to a network switch). It would be very handy to be able to align and/or reorder configuration chunks when doing compares.

    For example, in a section where port configurations are defined, service and spectrum profiles are listed first. In one DSLAM, there may have been dozens of experimental profiles added, and a new DSLAM will be configured with only the standard ones. There are clues to where the verious sections start in how the files are indented, but the port configurations fail to align because profiles and ports are indented to the same level. This confuses all of the file compare tools I have tried, resulting in a complete failure to align the parts of the files that I am wishing to compare.

    it would be nice to have a way to either manually define and align blocks. Because of the repetitive nature of network configuration files, it would be handy if I could mark blocks that were similar in the two files, and have it run the automatic alignment within those blocks. If I cut the files into chunks, where only similar parts are compared, it aligns the port configurations perfectly. The problem is in a DSLAM, there are 44 different blocks to align, so if I had to cut the files apart, it might take a couple days to get through the process.

    So the per port configurations are in 11 different locations within a file, and for each card type, they have additional variation.

    A port config section typically starts with a like like this:

    line 1/1/7/4
    port 1/1/7/4

    And because different models of cards can be inserted in different orders, I might want to compare the same model card that is in a different slot, so a manual alignment would be required as only the person behind the keyboard knows which sections need to be compared when the slot numbers are out of order:

    port 1/1/4/1 |--------| port 1/1/7/1