[Digikam-users] IPTC and tags, again... Questions to the team

Daniel Bauer linux at daniel-bauer.com
Wed Jan 10 15:02:21 GMT 2007

On Wednesday 10 January 2007 13:26, Gilles Caulier wrote:
> On Wednesday 10 January 2007 13:01, Daniel Bauer wrote:
> > I think there are at least 2 different needs depending on what tags and
> > metadata should be used for. 
> >
> > a) "home use" and needs of digiKam itself:
> >
> > - digiKam itself needs tag trees to be saved in IPTC to be able to
> > re-create them in digiKam tags hierarchy in database.
> > - for "home use" you want to tag your pictures on topics to sort and
> > quickly find them again
> >
> > I think this is very well implemented now and once its completely
> > polished these needs are met perfectly.
> >
> > b) "professional use"
> >
> > here tags and IPTC-keywords are two completely different things. To
> > explain:
> >
> > *tags* could be:
> > - work for customers -> company X -> job Y
> > - free work -> models -> Susi
> > (this is personal information to organize my archive, but nothing of it
> > should go into IPTC - like the real name of the model is important for
> > me, but often should not be published and may not appear in the image
> > file)
> >
> > while *keywords* could be:
> > - emotions -> love -> parent/child (I know "/" cant be in a keyword...
> > :-) ) - people -> groups -> families
> > (this is "public data" that I want in IPTC)
> >
> > My personal approach here is:
> >
> > - use digiKam tags for the tags (leaving "Save image tags as 'Keywords'
> > tag" unchecked in Metadata settings), which suits perfect for this
> >
> > - use the "edit IPTC Metadata" plugin for the IPTC keywords, which is
> > good right now for single entries, but not yet for setting metadata in
> > many files and also needs some other improvements in regard of using
> > pre-defined word lists for consistency of keywording etc.
> >
> > My questions to the digiKam team right now are:
> >
> > - what is your target audience (target user group)?
> Both
> > - if both groups ("home use" and "professional") are targeted, is there
> > already a concrete plan about future developments in this regard? If so,
> > is this plan public and can I find it somewhere?
> We have draft for future release where we post all important ideas todo. It
> in digiKam wiki, shared between me and Marcel, but, there is no plan/idea
> about the home rules of Tags->IPTC keywords
> For informations, the current (and uncomplete) development draft is here :
> http://wiki.kde.org/tiki-index.php?page=Digikam%20development%20discussion

wow, never ending work for the team :-)

> > (I have some ideas, but I don't want to make unnecessary noise by
> > throwing in thoughts about things that have already been discussed and
> > decided by people who know better than I do)
> >
> > Let me know.
> Well, the problem is to store in IPTC keywords the Tags _name_ and not the
> Tags _path_. Right ?
> For example :
> City/Places/NotreDame ==> NotreDame

This is one thing, and I know some users would prefer that (for flickr export 
and the like). I personally don't really care, because I don't want my tags 
in IPTC at all (I differ between tags and IPTC keywords). I just 
enabled "save tags to IPTC" to contribute to the tests.
> Ideas :
> * Using IPTC "Supplemental Categories" to store Tags Names. There is no
> limitation about how many Sup. Cat. can be stored in Pictures, but each
> field is limited to 32 characters (this is a limitation of IPTC not
> digiKam).
> Problem is than "Supplemental Categories" is depreciate on IPTC draftand is
> not supported by next generation of IPTC draft used into XMP metadata
> (Adobe). This point is important for the future.
> * Using IPTC "Subjects" : This is another way to store Tags Names. There is
> no limitation about how many Subject can be stored in Pictures, but each
> field is limited to 236 characters (this is a limitation of IPTC not
> digiKam).
> IPTC Subjects use a complex format. It's not a simple words to write like
> Keywords or supplemental Categories.
> For more dtails, look page 31 of IPTC draft :
> http://www.iptc.org/std/IIM/4.1/specification/IIMV4.1.pdf
> * Using a dedicaced IPTC tags (there is 20 free for use IPTC tags
> normally). I have never tried to use this way. It's normally depreciate to
> do it, for compatibility issue between photo management program.

Of course I can't comment on technical stuff due to my lack of knowledge. I 
think the tags part is good as it is. But I guess it could be an advantage 
if "digiKam-own stuff" (like tags-hierarchy) would be saved in a place where 
it doesn't interfere with "common stuff".

Then in your example for "City/Places/NotreDame"
"keywords" could be "NotreDame" and the path "City/Places/NotreDame" could be 
saved in another place that other apps don't care about.
> * Provide a new batch tool used to export pictures with the right Tags
> information stored in IPTC keywords : the Tags Path _or_ the Tags Name.

This is also a good idea, if it's not too much work to implement and if it 
doesn't evoke more problems with adaptation of the other components.

My idea is a bit different:

I think it is almost impossible to have all wishes fullfilled in one single 
tool. Some want it simple and easy, others want it very powerful and with 
every imaniganable option. So I would separate the methods from each other:

- consider "tags to IPTC" as "home user solution" (without meaning this 
depreciatory at all), thus KISS. Each user can decide whether s/he wants to 
use this "home user mode" and directly save their tags into IPTC or not via 
digiKam settings.

- separate the "professional Metadata handling" from tagging and therefor 
enhance your Metadata-Plugin for this purpose, so that it gets a powerful 
full featured Metadata-Handler without disturbing those who just want to tag 
their pictures for personal uses (again: not ment depreciatory).

With this approach the "tagging stuff" would practically be done. On the other 
hand, professional Metadata handling could be swapped out into the plugin, 
which can then develop (almost) independently from the rest of digiKam.

What do you think?

Daniel Bauer photographer Basel Switzerland
professional photography: http://www.daniel-bauer.com
Madagascar special: http://www.sanic.ch

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