I have a Macbook at home and a GNU/linux desktop workstation at work. But, I sometimes also have to work on my university's library machines (running Windows 7) without admin rights.
Is there a (preferably open-source), but certainly free (as in free beer), cross-platform GUI-based plain-text diff-tool that will work on at least these three platforms (Win 7 & 10, GNU Linux, MacOS 10.13)? For Windows machines, this must work without admin priveleges.
Viable option until now: VimDiff
I did an exhaustive research of options before posting this question. The only viable tool I could find was
vimdiff (i.e. the diff-mode within vim) that truly satisfies all criteria (GUI available, free, open-source, cross-platform). The amazing
fugitive.vim plugin by the legendary tpope also brings in git-based diff and 3-way merging to within vim. Now, while I am very comfortable with vim, since I need to also work on friends' machines to view diffs on a collaborative project, I do not want to force them to learn vim. Furthemore, since we are presently working on prose (a paper being written in latex) rather than code, I think a word-based diff-tool, rather than a line-based one shall be helpful.
Possible cue: Java based
A majority of machines I work on have a working JRE installed. So, even if a true multi-platform native desktop application is not available, an app distributed as a portable
jar file which runs atop a standard JVM/JRE should be good enough. I found
jedit which has a diff plugin. But even this asks for an install to the restricted
C:\program_files(x86) location on Windows. I am looking for something which works akin to
jabref which is a brilliant reference management software distributed as a cross-platform standalone
Possible cue2: Tcl/Tk based alternatives
The TCL/TK framework seems to be yet another way to go portable. I found
tkdiff which seems to be well-maintained. But, my univeristy's library machines do not have
TCL/TK framework installed on Win 7. I tried clicking around
freewrap but cannot figure out how to use it. Any help in this direction is also welcome.
Note on web-based alternatives
prettydiff is a viable browser-based alternative that ticks all required boxes. But since we do not like to upload any source-component of our project on the web (despite any privacy promises), a standalone desktop application becomes essential. Such web-based tools cannot also handle git repos, and is good for just a quick one-off diff, rather than as part of a systematic workflow.
PS: Git or other vcs-diff capabilities will be a bonus.