DeltaXML are excited to announce the launch of Version 12 of their leading XML Compare software. Following on our performance improvements last year across all products, we are releasing our best ever CALS table handling. This new version features a major update to the way CALS tables are handled when comparing tables and reporting differences. There are also a few new capabilities to ensure you get the best results when processing tables, so be sure to check these out.

Our best ever table comparison

Anyone who has worked with XML tables knows comparing is tricky – there is a trade-off between capturing structural changes and showing the content changes in a way that is useful for the reader. This release of XML Compare includes a completely new approach to table comparison that is focused on showing content changes in as much detail as possible. Those used to seeing row duplications in their table results will be pleased to know that these have been dramatically reduced. In the vast majority of cases, changes are now shown at the cell level, leading to a more intuitive table result.

Changes to spans

Handling spans is much improved with the results far more easy to display and understand when reviewed. Previously, row duplication often occurred when table changes included a modification to a span. The following examples show the new, superior table results for both row and column spanning changes.

Old column span result

Old Result

New column span result

New Result

Old row span change results

Old Result

New row span change result

New Result

Finer-grained Results

Our new approach delivers a more detailed result for cells and rows, highlighting the change that matters. In some cases, the old algorithm duplicated the entire table to display changes. In the majority of cases, that ‘fallback’ position is no longer used and we get a great result that is easy to read.

Old result with duplicated table

Old Result

New result without duplicated table

New Result

Column Alignment

One of the most fundamental changes to understand in a table is column moves, additions or deletions. Due to the way that tables are represented in XML, this is not always straightforward. The new result makes more sense and the simple representation makes the change more immediately apparent to the viewer.

Table input A example

Input A

Table input B example

Input B

Old Result

New column move result

New Result

Exciting new capabilities in XML Compare 12

Ordered and ‘orderless’ columns

Now that columns are handled more intuitively, it’s possible to change the way that they are compared. By default, column order is significant i.e. if column order changes, that is flagged up in the result (as in the example above). However, if column order doesn’t matter, configure the comparison to ignore column order and it will align them differently in the result.

Table input A example

Input A

Table input B with changed column order

Input B

Result when column order significant

Column order is significant

Result with ignored column order

Column order is ignored

Column keying

When ignoring the order of columns, you may want to control the way in which columns are aligned. By default, they are aligned based on their content. However, it is possible to set up column ‘keys’ to control how the alignment takes place. The following keying modes are available:

AUTO – the content of each column is used to find the best alignment

COLNAME – columns are only aligned if they have the same colname attribute on their cells

POSITION – columns are aligned purely by position i.e. column 1 in A aligns with column 1 in B etc.

It is also possible to manually provide custom keys for each column by adding processing instructions into the table. See the user documentation for more details.

Saying goodbye to deprecated classes in XML Compare 12

Well, we will be removing a lot of classes that were deprecated in 11, some customers may still be using these so please install your update on a test server. For a full list of classes and guide explaining which classes/methods customers should use instead please check out our updated documentation area.

Download your update today or get a free evaluation trial!

These table enhancements will rolled out to our other products shortly, including DITA and DocBook, and will also support xHTML tables, so subscribe now for the latest updates. We are always keen to hear your feedback so update your XML Compare today simply by downloading from MyDelta. If you are new to DeltaXML request an evaluation trial licence today and our technical experts we will be happy to onboard you.

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