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Mostly I edit the files on my local server and then upload them to the remote server, but for small changes or for things that can only be tested on the remote computer, I'll edit the remote file directly (using Dreamweaver and a web-dav software called web-drive).

Problem is, after a while I'll wanna edit the file again, and due to a very bad memory and organization, I have to manually check the date of both the remote and local file, in order to select the latest version. Otherwise, the change I have made will be undone as soon as I synchronize the file.

Is there a synchronization tool that automatically compares dates of similar files on the local and remote servers, and then imports/exports the latest version?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are a few options in this space. As @Angio points out Subversion (SVN) and one of its popular clients like Tortoise or Smart offers a great solution, but it's not simple to set up and from what you describe it might be using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

I've listed the main options below:-

FTP Sync Tools

Simple FTP/SFTP/FTPS tools which sync.

  • TW SiteSync ($59.99 or 30 day demo) is an FTP client which performs a programmatic differential synchronization.
  • BestSync and FTPSync are free tools which offer similar functionality to SiteSync.
  • WinSCP

Source Control Tools (all supported by sourceforge)

Source Control tools offer advanced features including rollback, backup, diff and the like

Straight file syncronisation

Tools which syncronise a directory (or group of directories) between your local computer and the webserver/other pc/etc.

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RSync is great on Linux for syncing and backing up files and folders. SVN does have a learning curve but you can roll back to previous versions of files if you make a mistake. – Anagio Mar 11 '12 at 11:33
@Anagio rSync runs on windows too, and I do point out that SVN and similar programs offer rollback. In this situation, though, those features might be too much work/hassle etc. – toomanyairmiles Mar 11 '12 at 11:39
Wasn't aware rsync ran on windows. I agree though about SVN being too much work for updating files here and there through dreamweaver. – Anagio Mar 11 '12 at 11:42

I often use WinMerge to compare files http://winmerge.org/ it will highlight differences in two files which are opened side by side.

Your other option is to learn to use SVN which will manage your file changes and keep your files up to date. You can work in a branch make changes to code and merge it to your trunk.

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