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What is SmartVersion

SmartVersion is a new shareware from Gilles Vollant (, the creator of WinImage.

SmartVersion is a tool for storing multiple versions of your files inside SmartVersion Files (SVF files). You may then send these SVF files to your end-users. Your end-users can use SmartVersion to extract the version they desire from the SVF files and update their product. You may also customize exactly which versions are delivered to your end-users.

SmartVersion uses intelligent compression and file comparison algorithms. Only the changes between the different product versions are stored in the SVF files. This eliminates redundant data in your SVF files and makes sure the patches you create for new versions of your products are as small as possible.

For some file's types (such as text file, HTML files, Word Processing files...), it takes a significant smaller disk space than compressing each version individually.

SmartVersion, unlike other patching schemes, is not limited to working with software products, or providing single version upgrades.

Just download and try SmartVersion!

Real world usage example:

1) A Book writer

Let's say you're working on a book. How can SmartVersion help you?

As the author, you can use SmartVersion to store several versions of the file of your book. Let's assume you work with an editor who reviews and modifies your work. Your editor has a slow connection to the Internet, which complicates matters when you are emailing him files of your book.

The first time you send the book to your editor, you will send a SmartVersion file which contains only one version of the book (an empty patch, which will be exactly the same size as a ZIP file of your book file). The editor does take a lot of time to download the book, but with SmartVersion, this is the only time he will suffer for the duration of the project.

So moving along, your editor makes some changes to the book, and adds a new version of the book with his changes to the SmartVersion file (adds a new version to a patch). As he makes further changes, he adds those to the SmartVersion file as well. When he wants to correspond with you to send you his best copy, he makes a new SmartVersion file which contains just his changes (a minimal patch with a version subset). In this way, your editor obtains a very small SmartVersion file that he has no trouble at all sending back to you, even over his slow Internet connection.

Finally, when you receive the file, you open it with SmartVersion. SmartVersion asks you for the location of file of the first version of this patch (specifying an existing version folder), and then lets you extract your editors latest version with all his changes.

2) A Webmaster

A webmaster designs a web site. Sometimes, he experiments with several different styles on his site, and wants to be able go back if the modifications are not satisfactory.

Each day, he adds the current version on the SmartVersion file for his web site. On days when he tries several modifications, he saves several versions of the web site inside the SmartVersion file (adding new versions to a patch). The website contains a lot of HTML files and images in the form of JPGs and GIFs, all contained inside the SmartVersion file.

Before the webmaster discovered SmartVersion, he had created 10 ZIP files containing 10 different versions of his website. But now, he just creates a single SmartVersion file with all these 10 versions. He imports his exising ZIP files (adding new versions to a patch) into a new SmartVersion file (starting with an empty patch). And he discovers that while the ZIP files together took up 10 MB, the SmartVersion file just takes 2.5 MB of space, and neatly contains all his website versions!

When he is done with his site, our webmaster has a SmartVersion file with, say 40 versions. At any time, he can extract one or several files from any of the versions (extracting versions from a patch). Let's say he wants to keep an archive of the evolution of his web site...but he doesn't want to keep all the versions of the site problem! The webmaster selects the, say 10 versions he wants to keep, and then creates a new SmartVersion file for safekeeping (building partial patches).

Copyright Gilles Vollant Software, 2002