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The program, multiple, a file-comparison-tool, is a tool I wrote many years ago. I think it was around in the middle/end of the 90's. (Don't know exactly.) Later I picked it up again and rewrote it, making the code cleaner and more efficient.
Again later I picked it up again and made me fun out of it to do it in a Literate Programming way, but doing this without any literate programming tools:

What it does

It compares files and detects files with the same contents. Invoked without parameters, if you have n equalfiles, it shows you (n-1) of them, because it assumes, that theese all are superflous (one is enough, you don't need extra copies).

It also can delete them immediately, if the -d switch is active. If you want to compare email- or newsgroup-articles, then it would make sense to only compare the bodies of the mails / postings and ignore the headers. You can invoke multiple with the switch -i (i: ignore headers) to acchieve this goal.

When you delete(-d switch), at least one true regular file will be left over. So, if multiple has a true regualar file and a symbolic link on it, it will remove the symbolic, not the true regular file.

All CLI-options/switches of version 0.4 and 0.5.2:

!!! multiple Operation Warning:
!!! ===================================
!!! *** NEVER use option "-follow" of the find program. ***
!!! Check if it's enabled via an alias, when using
!!! find to feed multiple, because this might kill all your files,
!!! if you delete the superflous ones.
!!! -----------------------------------------------------------

AUR-Page (Arch-Linux)

Arch Linux AUR-Page for multiple

Different Variant of the Program

There is a newer version I wrote in the language Ocaml. It uses md5-hashes instead of byte-by-byte comparison. It's not online so far, but I may put it online later.

last time changed: 05th of Sept 2011
next to last time changed: 19th of July 2007

Mail: oliver _at_ first.in-berlin.de