[Digikam-users] User experience (or bugs, hopes and wishes)
caulier.gilles at kdemail.net
Mon Oct 2 12:18:45 BST 2006
On Monday 02 October 2006 12:58, Birkir A. Barkarson wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> This is my first posting to the mailing list. It is mainly intended for
> the Digikam mailing list as that is what I am currently using but I
> cross post this to the KPhotoAlbum list as well since I like their
> interface and it is my hope that they will adopt similar way to store
> metadata in-tag like digikam does. My apologies if this is offends or
> is not welcomed.
> I would like to give you a short account of my experiences with Digikam
> and explain what I look for in a photo management tool. Then I will
> note a few things that I think could be improved along with some hopes
> for future features. I hope developers will take a note and I ask other
> users for comment and critique.
> I have been searching for a long while for a tool that I can use to
> adequately manage my ever expanding collection of photos. My number one
> and absolute requirement is that I can apply meta data to the photos
> such as keywords or tags, title and description along with location and
> or other pertinent information. I refused to use applications that did
> this by storing the data in a database since that would make my data
> very unportable and would most likely result in lot of annoying
> copy/paste work when I want to duplicate metadata across applications.
> Second I wanted free software. Every once and a while I would search
> and see what developments had taken place.
digikam store some metadata in a database to speedup keywords search ! Try to
do the same thing only using metadata from pictures : you can take a coffee.
All pictures management software witch provide a search feature use this
So, since we using Exiv2 library, all metadata hosted by the database are
stored into pictures metadata.
> When I was a frustrated Windows user I used a program called Exifer, it
> did the job but was closed sourced freeware, unmaintained, and had some
> annoying bugs. So I didn't miss it much when I moved to GNU/Linux
> although I did need a replacement.
> After a long search I came across the exiv2 tool/library and used that
> for a while. Being a command line only program this proved somewhat
> inefficient and tiring but was the best I had. I looked at programs such
> as F-Spot and KPhotoAlbum. Both have many good qualities but I avoid
> programs that move images to their own structures or store data
> internally. I found a few proprietary applications that seemed to do
> the work but since I am now all Linux those were out of the picture.
> I have to admit that I have been suprised at the apparent lack of demand
> for a program with these kind of features. My main point in wanting
> this features is that I want to keep my metadata centralized so that I
> can apply it to my photos before viewing them or uploading them to
> services such as Flickr or web Gallery.
> Then I came across Digikam and despite the innocuous sounding name I
> found that your latest beta version having incorporated the exiv2
> library came closest to what I have been looking for. I downloaded the
> source and hunted down every dependency to compile the program. When
> done I found something eminently useful and to the developers of Digikam
> I express my heartfelt gratitude for their efforts and insight.
> In using the program I have come across several things that I want to
> share with the users and developers of Digikam.
> First the apparent bugs:
> Having enabled automatic insertion of byline, source and related
> information in the settings I find that in some cases it isn't applied.
> Mostly it seems to be when tags are applied on multiple images at the
> same time (eg. removing and re-applying a tag to a single images seems
> to cause the IPTC data to be correctly written).
Problem already reported into KDE bugzilla. Will be fixed to 0.9.0 final.
> When loading a few images I had previously annotated directly with exiv2
> the text comes out scrambled even though it exiv2 outputs it correctly
> when I use it from the command line. This affects only the EXIF fields
> since the same text in the IPTC tags is displayed correctly. Is the
> exiv2 library not used to read all metadata?
Not sure to understand properly. Please give us a screensot...
> On occasion when replacing comments only the IPTC fields are replaced
> not the corresponding EXIF fields (eg. an image with a text scrambled as
> per 2 displays the scrambled text in the comment/tag section. I copy the
> text from the IPTC field and paste it into the comment section, it then
> appears correctly in the comment section however the EXIF field still
> contains the scrambled text).
idem than A1 point.
> Encoding issues in text can cause corruption of text when tags are
> updated (more on this below).
IPTC only support prinatble ascii characters. This way will be fixed when we
use XMP metadata (when Exiv2 will support in the future)
> Suggested improvements:
> B1. Encoding issues.
> It would probably be best to nail this down somehow.
> As far as I can tell the only way to support multiple character sets is
> to use unicode wherever possible. I would recommend that Digikam refuse
> to use local character sets as this invites further complications and
> incompatibility across the board. From what I can tell of the Exif
> standard Unicode is supported in the User Comment section but carries a
> special marker to identify the encoding. The standard doesn't specify
> what kind of Unicode encoding (UTF-16 BE/LE, UTF8 or whatever) but I get
> the feeling its UCS2. Anyway it might be a good idea to always use this
> marker when writing to the EXIF field as it would be the most correct
> and foolproof way. For other fields such as title/headline and IPTC
> data UTF-8 should be used wherever possible provided the high order bit
> can be other than zero (non 7bit ascii). If not 7bit ascii will of
> course have to be enforced. Text on platforms using other local
> encodings would have to be encoded/decoded for displaying purposes.
Marcel, you have fixed encoding issue with comments tags. i let's you explain
your investiguations here.
> B2. Tagging
> When tagging multiple photos it can be real time consuming to use the
> right-click menu. So much that I tend to use the sidebar single
> comment/tag section even for multiple images (up to five or so,
> depending on tag number), pressing space or pg down to advance to the
> next one. The most efficient way I can think of is to allow multiple
> selection and then drag and drop. Either drag the images to a tag or
> vice versa. This would really speed up tagging.
> Batch editing dates would also come in handy (I often receive photos
> with an incorrect year or date set, really annoying when viewing photos
> by date)
Planed to the future.
> B3. Title support.
> Both the EXIF and IPTC fields support a "title" field. Many
> viewers and online services, such as Flickr make a distinction between
> title and comment. The iTag program home page has table noting some of
> these . Personally I like to put a title on most photos while only
> commenting on specific things. A title is generally shorter and
> therefore more appropriate for displaying with the thumbnails than the
> comment field. In a manner similar to the comment field I would like to
> be able to set and view the title/headline tags. Batch setting the
> title on a few photos would also come in handy (for many similar photos
> which often appear in a row).
idem than B2. A full IPTC editor is planed later 0.9.0
> B4. Versioning
> When viewing photos it is often superfluous to see the same image more
> often than once. This is particularly so when you have JPG and CR2
> versions of the same photo in a directory since it take a good while to
> load the thumbnail for CR2 photos. Same goes for resized photos and
> somewhat cropped/modified ones. I know F-spot has implements this
> although I am not sure how. One way I can think of is to stack together
> photos which have the same file name up to the first dot (this way
> IMG001.jpg, IMG001.cr2 and IMG001.resized.jpg, IMG001.ver2.jpg etc.
> would be stacked together). I am sure there are better ways although
> this one seems nice and simple. An on/off option would of course be
Already reported to KDE bugzilla.
> B5. Geotagging
> I would love to be able to geotag inside digikam (using Goggle Map API
> or something). I saw that you have a plugin to correlate GPS data with
> photo dates and that looks like something I want to take advantage of
> but sometime you need to set or adjust the data manually so this ability
> would be a real plus.
Implemented like a new kipi-plugin by me. A screenshot :
> Other pet-peeves:
> C1. Tag hierarchy
> I am wondering if there is a better way to store the hierarchy
> information for tags other than slash seperated. When importing to
> Flickr this comes out as Top Group/Sub Group/Tag name, while I would
> prefer for it to come out as either three tags (Top Group, Sub Group,
> Tag name) or just the last Tag name. Any good ideas on this? Having a
> space before and after the slash might accomplish the former but I am
> not sure.
There is a lot of report in KDE bugzilla to improve tags view. Please post
your comments at the right place.
> C2. Separate name/people tagging.
> While tags are nicely placed in the keyword fields, peoples names might
> be best kept separate. KPhotoAlbum seems to emphasize this feature, and
> if you would consider such a feature as well I would suggest the
> objectname IPTC field for storing such information. Of course this can
> be implemented with tags so it might be considered superfluous but when
> I upload to Flick I want the keywords there for tags but don't want
> peoples name to appear as such since it is mostly useless and
> potentially harmful (hence a lot of work removing them).
Later 0.9.0 when full IPTC editor will be implemented.
> To those who made it all the way down here, thanks for reading. Hope
> you have comments to make. In my mind an application with these features
> should be a real killer-app when it comes to applying metadata to images
> especially with people who use services like Flickr.
> I look forward to seeing Digikam go from strength to strength.
Thanks for your comments. I recommend you to post all these comments to KDE
bugzilla (B.K.O). Look the links at digikam project page :
It's very important to use B.K.O instead ML, because it very difficult to
manage wishes and report by ML. ML message live is short. With B.K.O, the
history is preserved.
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