STREAMdiff Frequently Asked Questions

Specifications
  • What are the minimum recommended system requirements? STREAMdiff requires a Pentium processor 1GHz with 512 MB RAM running on Windows XP.
  • What platforms are supported? Currently STREAMdiff runs on Windows.
  • What type of documentation is available? A user guide, a print stream setup guide and online help.
Print Streams Processed
  • Does STREAMdiff compare only the outputs from the same print composition applications? No. STREAMdiff is application independent. It is able to look at AFP or Metacode print streams generated by any type of program.
  • What print data streams are currently supported? AFP, Metacode, PDF, PS and PCL output types are currently supported. Support for other output types will be added in future releases.
  • Can I compare AFP to Metacode? Yes, you can compare AFP to Metacode.
  • What type of AFP can I compare? STREAMdiff can compare AFP print streams generated by any type of program.
Comparison
  • Does STREAMdiff compare the image or the actual print stream constructs? First, the print stream is analyzed, and then the changes are verified to make sure that the difference is a visual change. STREAMdiff looks for visual differences between the two print streams, down to the pixel level, and will capture ALL differences between the two files.
  • What is the difference between an image and a graphic? These are categories describing AFP and Metacode structures. Graphics are line drawings, shading, charts, tables and graphs that are created using drawing commands. Images are the remaining elements, such as logos.
  • During visual comparison, why are the changes split into different AFP objects, i.e. variable text, overlay text, etc.? Once a visual change is identified, STREAMdiff next delves into the underlying AFP structure to determine what type of change has occurred.
  • Why are differences marked on the Control file and not on the Test file where the changes actually occur? Differences are marked on the Control file because it acts as a reference point. If we marked the Test file, then as the new application changes we would not have a consistent reference point. When you have accepted all differences, then the new file can become the reference point.
  • Is there a separate batch component to compare multiple print streams in a batch process? Yes, there is such a batch process.
  • What is the largest number of pages that you can compare? There is no limit. STREAMdiff first compares the initial 20 pages. You can then change the default number to “all” and compare the entire print stream.
  • Why does the audit file only show the acceptance rules and not all of the differences that were identified? The audit file only shows the acceptance rules, because in a large document the audit file could otherwise become larger than the print files.
Acceptance
  • What is an acceptance trigger? An acceptance trigger provides a mechanism for indicating where STREAMdiff should look for acceptance rules within the file.
  • If a document contains 1,000 pages, do I need to set up a trigger for each of the 1,000 pages? No. A trigger only needs to be set up once for one type of page.
  • Do I have to set up acceptance rules when I use STREAMdiff? No. Acceptance rules may or may not be utilized. They help you exclude (or ignore) the acceptable changes, so that you can focus on dealing with unexpected or unacceptable changes. If STREAMdiff indicates that acceptable changes are only on a few pages, then you may decide not to use acceptance rules at all.
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