xaizek / zograscope (License: AGPLv3 only) (since 2018-12-07)
Mainly a syntax-aware diff that also provides a number of additional tools.
File Mode Size
.zs/ 040000
data/ 040000
docs/ 040000
man/ 040000
src/ 040000
tests/ 040000
third-party/ 040000
tools/ 040000
.gitignore 100644 313B
.gitmodules 100644 233B
COPYING 100644 34KiB
Makefile 100644 8,817B
README.md 100644 5,882B


zograscope, 2017 - 2022


Clone recursively, there are submodules:

git clone --recursive https://github.com/xaizek/zograscope.git
  1. Description (Status; Supported languages; Configuration)
  2. Tools
  3. Building and Installing (Dependencies)
  4. Documentation
  5. License
  6. Credits (References)


"A zograscope is an optical device for enhancing the sense of depth perception from a flat picture." (wiki)


zograscope is built around syntax-aware diff and includes a number of additional tools.

The nature of syntax-aware diff requires knowledge of structure of the code, which can be used to build other simple tools that can benefit from this information. Competing with real language front-ends in the level of accuracy is not possible, but making some things that are one step further than regular text-processing utilities seems feasible and the result might be even more practical than some of the more elaborate tools which end up requiring complicated setup process.


The project is work in progress, but is useful in its current state.

Code isn't perfect and isn't extensively documented as initial version was more of an experiment, but this situation gets better.


See the manual page.



A terminal-based syntax-aware diff.


Grep-like tool that finds elements of source code structure.


A Qt5 GUI version of syntax-aware diff.


Simple syntax highlighter for xterm-256color palette.


Counter of lines of code.


TUI interface with underdefined scope of functionality.

Building and Installing

# if Qt5 is available (use `qmake` if it corresponds to Qt5 on your machine)
echo 'QT5_PROG := qmake-qt5' >> config.mk
# if libgit2 is present
echo 'HAVE_LIBGIT2 := yes'   >> config.mk
# if libsrcml is present
echo 'HAVE_LIBSRCML := yes'  >> config.mk
# if cursesw is present
echo 'HAVE_CURSESW := yes'   >> config.mk

make release check

This will build release version and run tests. The executables will be named release/zs-*.

There is no data, so just making them available in the $PATH will work. However, it's possible to install conventionally (/usr prefix by default):

make install

DESTDIR and PREFIX can be set to modify destination location. On invoking make uninstall same values of these values should be specified.


  • GNU Make
  • C++11-capable compiler (GCC 4.9 has some issues, GCC 5.3 works fine)
  • flex
  • GNU Bison v3+
  • Boost, tested with 1.58, but older versions might work too
  • (optional, run- or build-time, for C++) srcml (v0.9.5 and v1.0.0 were tested)
  • (optional, for gdiff tool) qt5
  • (optional, for gdiff tool) libgit2
  • (optional, for tui tool) curses with support of wide characters
  • (optional) pandoc for regenerating man pages

For Debian-based distributions

If you are using Debian or one of its derivatives, you can install the dependencies as follows:

# install make and build tools
sudo apt install -y build-essential
# installing dependencies
sudo apt install -y libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-iostreams-dev
sudo apt install -y libboost-program-options-dev libboost-system-dev
sudo apt install -y libarchive13
sudo apt install -y bison flex
# installing srcml
sudo apt install ./srcML-Ubuntu18.04.deb

You can also check out the CI build script in case dependencies change in the future.



Version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License.


dtl library is used for finding edit distance.

pmr implementation from C++17 with a small addition is employed for custom allocators.

TinyXML2 is used for parsing XML.

tree-sitter is used for parsing of some languages.

Catch2 is used for tests.


Change Distilling: Tree Differencing for Fine-Grained Source Code Change Extraction. Beat Fluri, Michael Würsch, Martin Pinzger, and Harald C. Gall. 2007.

Change Detection in Hierarchically Structured Information. Sudarshan Chawathe, Hector Garcia-molina and Jennifer Widom. 1996.

Simple fast algorithms for the editing distance between trees and related problems. Kaizhong Zhang and Dennis Shasha. 1989.


Before first commit, do not forget to setup your git environment:
git config --global user.name "your_name_here"
git config --global user.email "your@email_here"

Clone this repository using HTTP(S):
git clone https://code.reversed.top/user/xaizek/zograscope

Clone this repository using ssh (do not forget to upload a key first):
git clone ssh://rocketgit@code.reversed.top/user/xaizek/zograscope

You are allowed to anonymously push to this repository.
This means that your pushed commits will automatically be transformed into a pull request:
... clone the repository ...
... make some changes and some commits ...
git push origin master