Adding bsdiff to the base system

Colin Percival colin.percival at
Fri Apr 1 14:12:43 PST 2005

>> In the last episode (Apr 01), Mario Hoerich said:
>>>  Not that it's important, but the names probably aren't the best
>>>  possible choice, as 'bsdiff' seems to suggest 'BSD licensed diff'.

No, it would be "BSD licensed iff". :-)

> At 9:28 AM -0600 4/1/05, Dan Nelson wrote:
>> Yes, that's what I assumed this thread was about for the first
>> couple posts.  bdiff/bpatch sound like better names.  What's the
>> 's' stand for?

Err... nothing.  Or rather, I'm not sure what it stands for.  I was
looking for a name for a diff tool which worked on "binary software" (or
more generally, files with lots of "byte-substitutions"), and which uses
"bytewise subtraction" as part of its encoding process... (I'm sure you
can think of other possible meanings of "bs", as well.)

Garance A Drosihn wrote:
> I was also confused by the names at first.  How about just
> 'bindiff' and 'binpatch'?  These do sound like useful utilities
> to add, now that I understand what they are...

When I first wrote this code, I called it "bdiff".  Soon thereafter, it
was pointed out to me that there was a bit of a namespace collision -- the
name "bdiff" -- and the name "bindiff", which was my second choice -- had
each been used for several different (not very good) binary diff tools

So I looked for a name which hadn't already been used by several other
people, and settled on "bsdiff" / "bspatch" as a compromise between being
descriptive and avoiding the possibility of getting confused with another

This is all rather immaterial at this point, however: It's far too late
to change the name now.

Colin Percival

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