DeltaWalker: Affordable and comfortable OS X file and folder comparison! Finally!

Today’s MacUpdate PromoDeltaWalker — is a breath of fresh air! A reasonable and comfortable replacement for BeyondCompare for OS X, without the exorbitant price of Araxis Merge that kept me from even bothering to review it when I first found it some time ago. I didn’t evaluate it until today — and that was just to compare with DeltaWalker so I was making the most informed decision (to buy DeltaWalker) possible.

So now I’ve evaluated DeltaWalker, Araxis Merge, FileMerge, Changes and DiffMerge. I’ve never evaluated Guiffy as it just never looked appealing interface-wise.

I’m a longtime and heavy user of BeyondCompare 2.x in Windows. For me, BeyondCompare is the gold standard of file/folder comparison apps but it is Windows-only and I only use Windows for work — and, even then, only when I must. Like when I need BeyondCompare.

My Needs
Folder comparison is a must. File comparison is also a must. I’m particular about having a certain feature set and DeltaWalker fit the bill so I bought it via this promo today.

Great Support
I got a prompt response from Deltopia support today asking about Word doc comparison support (Araxis Merge has a filter that strips the text out of Word docs so they can be compared.) Deltopia support told me they’ve already started on Word and PDF comparison support and that they’ll definitely have it out by the end of this year (2008). That broke the approximate tie (ignoring price momentarily) between DeltaWalker and Araxis Merge.

Deltopia support has been consistently prompt, professional and even friendly. And it seems from all the reviews I’ve read, my experience is the norm. As a support professional I can comfortably say that Deltopia provides world class support. The kind of support you’d put up with merely passable software for — but with these guys, you don’t have to make that compromise.

User Interface Comfort
Although Araxis Merge uses native OS X controls and DeltaWalker is apparently a Java app or uses some other toolkit I’m not familiar with (the controls and icons didn’t ring a bell), I was surprised that I found DeltaWalker instantly and consistently more comfortable than Araxis Merge.
So in the end it came down to more than just Araxis’ huge price vs. the more reasonable DeltaWalker Personal price: I actually was more comfortable inside DeltaWalker.

The Other Tools
The other tools I’ve evaluated didn’t come close to the top two, DeltaWalker and Araxis Merge. And DeltaWalker gets my money, without hesitation.

Fanboy? Nope, Just Lucky
If this review seems over the top, please give my other reviews a read. I know when I’ve found a gem — and Deltopia gets it all right: Features, interface, documentation and support/service.