The London Perl and Raku Workshop takes place on 26th Oct 2024. If your company depends on Perl, please consider sponsoring and/or attending.


Algorithm::DiffOld - Compute `intelligent' differences between two files / lists but use the old (<=0.59) interface.


This has been provided as part of the Algorithm::Diff package by Ned Konz. This particular module is ONLY for people who HAVE to have the old interface, which uses a comparison function rather than a key generating function.

Because each of the lines in one array have to be compared with each of the lines in the other array, this does M*N comparisons. This can be very slow. I clocked it at taking 18 times as long as the stock version of Algorithm::Diff for a 4000-line file. It will get worse quadratically as array sizes increase.


  use Algorithm::DiffOld qw(diff LCS traverse_sequences);

  @lcs    = LCS( \@seq1, \@seq2, $comparison_function );

  $lcsref = LCS( \@seq1, \@seq2, $comparison_function );

  @diffs = diff( \@seq1, \@seq2, $comparison_function );
  traverse_sequences( \@seq1, \@seq2,
                     { MATCH => $callback,
                       DISCARD_A => $callback,
                       DISCARD_B => $callback,
                     $comparison_function );


Each of the main routines should be passed a comparison function. If you aren't passing one in, use Algorithm::Diff instead.

These functions should return a true value when two items should compare as equal.

For instance,

  @lcs    = LCS( \@seq1, \@seq2, sub { my ($a, $b) = @_; $a eq $b } );

but if that is all you're doing with your comparison function, just use Algorithm::Diff and let it do this (this is its default).


  sub someFunkyComparisonFunction
        my ($a, $b) = @_;
        $a =~ m{$b};

  @diffs = diff( \@lines, \@patterns, \&someFunkyComparisonFunction );

which would allow you to diff an array @lines which consists of text lines with an array @patterns which consists of regular expressions.

This is actually the reason I wrote this version -- there is no way to do this with a key generation function as in the stock Algorithm::Diff.