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I think this is one case where tools like Review Board ( and FileMerge win over simple diff viewers like git diff and github's diff viewer. Both RB/FM focus more on the before and after than just the diff format style changes. RB/FM visualize the changes with the before on one side, and after on the other. That of course isn't a unique strategy to those tools, but they're the 2 I commonly use. This is one of the reasons I find Review Board to be a better changeset viewer then github (I hope this doesn't start a flame war). The diff file format is a common language that most developers speak, but it was written for a data processor (computer), not a visual processor (humans). Solution wise, in git, there's some handy functionality for using tools like FileMerge to view a diff. I commonly use git mergetool to handle complicated merge situations. When you use that, it goes file-by-file through conflicts, opening up the file in FileMerge. I just did a little googling, and next time you're looking at a diff, instead of doing git diff, try git difftool. Just like git mergetool, it'll go file-by-file through the changeset, opening it up in FileMerge (or whatever your git is configured to use). I haven't used difftool before just now, but it looks like it'll be useful for more complicated diffs.
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2012 on The Tyranny of the Diff at Michael Feathers
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Apr 7, 2012