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Customize External Source Control to Use MATLAB for Diff and Merge

You can customize external source control tools to use the MATLAB® Comparison Tool for diff and merge. If you want to compare MATLAB files such as live scripts, MAT, SLX, or MDL files from your source control tool, then you can configure your source control tool to open the MATLAB Comparison Tool. The MATLAB Comparison Tool provides tools for merging MathWorks® files and is compatible with popular software configuration management and version control systems. You can use the automerge tool with Git™ to automatically merge branches that contain changes in different subsystems in the same SLX file.

To set up your source control tool to use MATLAB as the application for diff and merge, you must first determine the full paths of the mlDiff, mlMerge, and mlAutoMerge executable files, and then follow the recommended steps for the source control tool you are using.

Finding the Full Paths for MATLAB Diff, Merge, and AutoMerge

To get the required file paths and enable external source control tools to reuse open MATLAB sessions, run this command in MATLAB:

comparisons.ExternalSCMLink.setup()

This command sets the MATLAB preference, under Comparison, called Allow external source control tools to use open MATLAB sessions for diffs and merges.

This command also displays the file paths to copy and paste into your source control tool setup:

  • On Windows®:

    Diff: matlabroot\bin\win64\mlDiff.exe
    Merge: matlabroot\bin\win64\mlMerge.exe
    AutoMerge: matlabroot\bin\win64\mlAutoMerge.exe
  • On Linux®:

    Diff: matlabroot/bin/glnxa64/mlDiff
    Merge: matlabroot/bin/glnxa64/mlMerge
    AutoMerge: matlabroot/bin/glnxa64/mlAutoMerge

  • On Mac:

    Diff: matlabroot/bin/maci64/mlDiff
    Merge: matlabroot/bin/maci64/mlMerge
    AutoMerge: matlabroot/bin/maci64/mlAutoMerge

where matlabroot is replaced with the full path to your installation, for example, C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b.

Note

Your diff and merge operations use open MATLAB sessions when available, and only open MATLAB when necessary. The operations only use the specified MATLAB installation.

Integration with Git

Command Line

To configure MATLAB diff and merge tools with command-line Git:

  1. Run this command in MATLAB.

    comparisons.ExternalSCMLink.setupGitConfig()

    This command displays the full paths of the mlDiff, mlMerge, and mlAutoMerge executable files. It also automatically populates the global .gitconfig file. For example:

    [difftool "mlDiff"]
       cmd = \"C:/Program Files/MATLAB/R2020b/bin/win64/mlDiff.exe\" $LOCAL $PWD/$REMOTE
    [mergetool "mlMerge"]
       cmd = \"C:/Program Files/MATLAB/R2020b/bin/win64/mlMerge.exe\" $PWD/$BASE $PWD/$LOCAL $PWD/$REMOTE $PWD/$MERGED
    [merge "mlAutoMerge"]
       driver = \"C:/Program Files/MATLAB/R2020b/bin/win64/mlAutoMerge.exe\" %O %A %B %A

    Note

    You need to do step 1 only once for your Git setup.

  2. Configure your repository to use the mlAutoMerge executable file. Open the .gitattributes file in your repository and add:

    *.slx binary merge=mlAutoMerge

    Now, when you merge branches that contain changes in different subsystems in the same SLX file, MATLAB handles the merge automatically.

To run the MATLAB diff and merge tools from command-line Git, use git difftool and git mergetool:

  • To compare two revisions of a model using the MATLAB diff tool, type:

    git difftool -t mlDiff <revisonID1> <revisionID2> myModel.slx

    If you do not provide revision IDs, git difftool compares the working copy to the repository copy.

    If you do not specify which model you want to compare, command-line Git will go through all modified files and ask you if you want to compare them one by one.

  • To resolve a merge conflict in a model using the MATLAB merge tool, type:

    git mergetool -t mlMerge myModel.slx

    If you do not specify which model you want to merge, command-line Git will go through all files and ask you if you want to merge them one by one.

SourceTree

SourceTree is an interactive GUI tool that visualizes and manages Git repositories for Windows and Mac.

  1. Configure the MATLAB diff and merge tools as SourceTree external tools:

    1. With SourceTree open, click Tools > Options.

    2. On the Diff tab, under External Diff / Merge, fill the fields with the following information:

      External Diff tool: Custom
      Diff Command: C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlDiff.exe
      Arguments: $LOCAL $PWD/$REMOTE
      Merge tool: Custom
      Merge Command: C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlMerge.exe
      Arguments: $PWD/$BASE $PWD/$LOCAL $PWD/$REMOTE $PWD/$MERGED

  2. Configure your repository to automerge changes in different subsystems in the same SLX file using the mlAutoMerge executable file:

    1. Open the global .gitconfig file and add:

      [merge "mlAutoMerge"]
         driver = \"C:/Program Files/MATLAB/R2020b/bin/win64/mlAutoMerge.exe\" %O %A %B %A

    2. Open the .gitattributes file in your repository and add:

      *.slx binary merge=mlAutoMerge

Tip

Customize the full path of the mlDiff, mlMerge, and mlAutoMerge executables to match both the MATLAB installation and the operating system you are using. For more information, see Finding the Full Paths for MATLAB Diff, Merge, and AutoMerge.

To use the MATLAB diff tool from within SourceTree, right-click a modified file under Unstaged files and select External Diff.

To use the MATLAB merge tool when SourceTree detects a merge conflict, select the Uncommitted changes branch, right-click a modified file, and select Resolve Conflicts > Launch External Merge Tool.

Integration with SVN

TortoiseSVN

With TortoiseSVN, you can customize your diff and merge tools based on the file extension. For example, to use MATLAB diff and merge tools for SLX files:

  1. Right-click in any file explorer window and select TortoiseSVN > Settings to open TortoiseSVN settings.

  2. In the Settings sidebar, select Diff Viewer. Click Advanced to specify the diff application based on file extensions.

  3. Click Add and fill the fields with the extension and the mlDiff executable path:

    Filename, extension or mime-type: .slx
    External Program: "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlDiff.exe" %base %mine
  4. Click OK and repeat the same steps to add another file extension.

  5. In the Settings sidebar, select Diff ViewerMerge Tool. Click Advanced to specify the merge application based on file extensions.

  6. Click Add and fill the fields with the extension and mlMerge executable path:

    Filename, extension or mime-type: .slx
    External Program: "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlMerge.exe" %base %mine %theirs %merged
  7. Click OK and repeat the same steps to add another file extension.

You can now use the MATLAB tools for diff and merge the same way you would use the TortoiseSVN default diff and merge applications.

Note

Automerging binary files with SVN , such as SLX files, is not supported.

Integration with Other Source Control Tools

Perforce P4V

With Perforce® P4V, you can customize your diff and merge tools based on the file extension. To use MATLAB diff and merge tools for SLX files, for example:

  1. In Perforce, click Edit > Preferences.

  2. In the Preferences sidebar, select Diff. Under Specify diff application by extension (overrides default), click Add.

  3. In the Add File Type dialog box, enter the following information:

    Extension: .slx
    Application: C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlDiff.exe
    Arguments: %1 %2
    

  4. Click Save.

  5. In the Preferences sidebar, select Merge. Under Specify merge application by extension (overrides default), click Add.

  6. In the Add File Type dialog box, enter the following information:

    Extension: .slx
    Application: C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2020b\bin\win64\mlMerge.exe
    Arguments: %b %2 %1 %r

  7. Click Save and repeat the steps for other file extensions.

Tip

Customize the full path of the mlDiff and mlMerge executables to match both the MATLAB installation and the operating system you are using. For more information, see Finding the Full Paths for MATLAB Diff, Merge, and AutoMerge.

You can now use the MATLAB tools for diff and merge the same way you would use the Perforce default diff and merge applications.

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