[Digikam-users] Digikam IPTC

Mike Meiser groups-yahoo-com at mmeiser.com
Fri Feb 29 19:47:02 CET 2008

Well said Doton,

I second your thoughts on the subtleties of culture on this mailing list and
more importantly your technical insights regarding the issues at hand.

Michael Hughes,

In case no one has said it, welcome to the digikam mailing list!

I'm not offended by your comments in the slightest personally thought I
think it is important to understand why others do.

People here are looking for very specific information that helps them make
digikam better for you.. or if they're not developers they're looking for
very specific information so they can help you. It is implied that in doing
so they will also benefit themselves.

Everyone has extremely limited time and patience for general statements or
general value judgements that can be extremely misleading or distracting and
very likely not lead to Digikam being in any way better.   Hence your
comment about the quality of lightroom vs. digikam could be interpreted 18
different ways, none of which were very useful.  The truth is they do very
different things and have very different technical merits. As someone
pointed out it is always apple's and pears.  Also as pointed out Digikam
compares very favorably on more then one point. None of that side of the
conversation (the bulk of the conversation) gets at your particular issues
nor informs digikam developers on how they can make digikam even better.

Perspective. It's important to note you couldn't even have this sort of
direct discussion with the developers for said commercial application and
that's precisely why the culture is subtlety and yet very importantly
different. There is a culture clash here... a very sharp and well defined
sense of netiquette because this is not just a "user group" but a "developer
/ user group".

Most anyone who doesn't regularly participate in developer/user mailing
lists for open source apps will run fowl of this netiquette more then
once... but the reward for getting familiar with this culture is the ability
to participate in a very real and rewarding human scale process of
innovation/evolution (aka. user innovation, aka. consumer innovation, though
consumer is a misnomer in the open source world)

Whether things run smoothly or move as fast as you like in the direction you
like you can at least participate and follow this process. This is a sharp
counterpoint to commercial software user groups which have a very "us vs.
them" mentality.

With commercial software you never know what the developers are thinking,
whether they care/know what you think, what their intentions are, or what's
coming in future releases. Quite simply you're left with the other users to
stew, help each other, speculate and if need be bitch about features /
problems and hope someone is listening.

I can see from your opening email you were coming in with a carrot and a
stick thinking people might only give you attention if you picked a big
enough fight. This is in it's own very subtle way a form of trolling. To put
paraphrase it in my own terms... "If you ignore me and think my perspective
unimportant... then that just goes to show why your application sucks." or
"Pay attention to me. I matter."

Indeed you even admitted in later responses this intent to pick a fight if
need be. I don't fault you for it, we all tend to do this a little,
especially when we're new and we fear our thoughts will be ignored as is
often the case in the commercial software world.

The important thing though I believe your intentions are honest and your
perspective valuable, but clearly picking fights is not conducive to
intelligent discussion of your issues.

The stick is not necessary... we're all here for the same reason. Any
interesting detail or insight you can provide will meet with a proportioned

All that being said.

While it's interesting I'm not here to discuss the culture of open source
software or the netiquette of development mailing lists.

I'm reading this thread and responding because as a designer of
software/services, a published / yet amateur photographer and a digikam fan
I find you perspectives as a professional (undoubtedly my peer) and a user
coming from lightroom (which I haven't used) interesting and would love to
hear more in response to Dilton's points and then some.

BTW, I have played with Aperature and iPhoto extensively... used adobe pshop
since 1.0 not that it relates directly...  but other then digikam which
initially impresses the hell out of me with its interoperability and feature
set... I've never used these photo management solutions because they're not
OS portable and not interoperable with other applications. My work flow
supremely demands interoperability with any best of breed application I
should need on any OS. Then of course there is the reliability, archive
ability and stability of these photo management applications.  I suspect
these are the same failings with lightroom especially since you said you
were looking at digikam because of a "head" crash. (BTW, did you mean Vista
crapped on you or your database in lightrooom corrupted?)

Finally, I like digikam for it's powerful features which cover 90% of my
daily needs in one application despite some occasional usability quirks
which I have good faith will rapidly work themselves out over time...
especially when I take the initiative to document them properly so the devs
can consider them.

Please provide more information and ideas on specific features you feel
digikam is missing, or specific ways digikam could improve features it has.
I find scenarios and work flows very useful... especially if there is a
point of comparison. Screen snaps always help.

P.S. I'm also a newbie to this specific mailing list and application, though
I participate in many open source projects of a similar nature. Doton is
right, it is a culture. It's a culture I've come to love.


On Tue, Feb 19, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 19/02/2008, michael hughes <leftbrainorama at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > My main problem is the IPTC. I still have not found a way to coherently
> work
> > with this despite having spent six weeks on and off with the problem. It
> > begins with the preferences; you have to switch IPTC on. This is for me
> the
> > first major "policy statement". As a professional I could just about
> accept
> > that you could switch IPTC off but as a default this is just not
> serious. I
> > now find bits of information (the copyright details in prefs) in the
> > but am not quite sure how they got there. Captions have appeared from
> photos
> > which already had captions after being imported into Digikam. Using Tags
> I
> > have still not found an intuitive way of adding information. Maybe I
> just
> > have a blind spot - if so then tell me what I am doing wrong. Until then
> I
> > have to reiterate that Lightzone still is the more mature product
> Problems (correct me if I misunderstood):
> 1) IPTC must be switched on.
> 2) Unexplained information written to IPTC data (copyright details and
> captions).
> 3) No intuitive way to add information using Tags
> My replies to each individually:
> 1) IPTC must be switched on.
> While this may seem "not serious" to one who uses IPTC as a vital work
> component, a more serious issue would be if Digikam altered photos
> without the user expecting such. As Digikam is intended for use by a
> wide range of users, including those new to such applications,
> altering photos without the user explicitly requesting it could be
> dangerous. As professional users (those who care about IPTC) will take
> the time to more thoroughly explore their options, they can discover
> and enable IPTC.
> 2) Unexplained information written to IPTC data (copyright details and
> captions).
> Please send to me a photo that displays this property. That is, a
> photo that you photographed and know that there was no previous IPTC
> data, that had IPTC data written to it by Digikam by 'accident', or
> without your doing so.
> 3) No intuitive way to add information using Tags
> What information would you like to add? How would you expect that it
> be added, or how is it adding in an intuitive manner in other software
> that you are familiar with. Assume that we are _not_ familiar with the
> other software, and unless it runs on Linux, we cannot even test it.
> So describe in detail what it does and that feature may very well find
> it's way into Digikam.
> Thanks, Michael, for your willingness to help improve Digikam so that
> it better suits professional photographer's needs.
> Dotan Cohen
> http://what-is-what.com
> http://gibberish.co.il
> א-ב-ג-ד-ה-ו-ז-ח-ט-י-ך-כ-ל-ם-מ-ן-נ-ס-ע-ף-פ-ץ-צ-ק-ר-ש-ת
> A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
> Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
> _______________________________________________
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> Digikam-users at kde.org
> https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/digikam-users
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