[Digikam-users] How to remove "left behind" tag tree

Elle Stone l.elle.stone at gmail.com
Thu Oct 25 21:19:45 BST 2012

I'm not sure what you mean by "keeping external tags in place, while
removing outdated Digikam tags".

What I would like is that the tags in the XMP sidecar file exactly
synchronized with what is in the database: move a tag on the tag tree,
it should be moved in the XMP sidecar file; delete a tag on the tag
tree, it should be deleted in the XMP sidecar file. Etc.

I realize other people's workflow might require a different behavior.
But it seems like keeping the XMP sidecar and the database
synchronized should be an option, even if it isn't the default
behavior. Right now, writing to the images behaves very differently
differently than writing to the XMP sidecar files.

Apparently a lot of people have not succeeded in getting their
database synchronized with their image metadata after they move tags
around the tag tree. I posted the way to do just that earlier in this
thread. It isn't intuitive. But it works IF you allow digiKam to write
to your image files instead of only writing to XMP sidecar files.

The problem is I don't want digiKam writing to my image files any
more. Last week I discovered that IPTC information written before I
started using digiKam is mysteriously missing. It was there a month
ago. So I am faced with retrieving lost IPTC information for around
2500 images. Fortunately I have backups. A while back I spent hours
rotating all my jpegs that had the wrong rotation flag, and then found
out the rotation algorithm wasn't lossless. Fortunately I had backups.

I also don't want to trust just having the metadata in the database.
So I decided to try using XMP sidecar files.

digiKam can create XMP sidecar files. It can add tags to XMP sidecar
files. But apparently it can't remove tags from XMP sidecar files.
Possibly it can't even read the XMP sidecar files that it created in
the first place. Therefore XMP sidecar files can't be kept in synch
with the database. Which makes the XMP sidecar files essentially
useless - might as well not waste the time and CPU cycles writing tags
at all if the tags can't be kept in synch with the database. Or so it
seems to me.

My apologies for whining and complaining so much - digiKam is a great
image manager, but I'm having a bit of trouble getting it to work like
it seems it ought to.


On 10/25/12, Remco Viëtor <remco.vietor at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> On Thursday 25 October 2012 17:23:31 Jean-François Rabasse wrote:
> ...
>> I agree. And more, aside from « extensive re-organisation » of tags, even
>> the simple task of documenting new images leads to multiple metadata
>> updates. E.g. on a single image :
>>   - geolocating then clicking Apply --> write to image or sidecar
>>   - setting a title or caption, then Apply --> write
>>   - rating, --> write
> Well, if the geolocation tab could be fused with the Caption/Tags tab,
> you'd only need one Apply command: at the moment, you can set title,
> caption, tags and ratings in one go, then click Apply only once to apply
> all those changes (currently, Geolocation is separate though).
> Personally, I try and get the metadata complete for the RAW files, and then
> they are carried over to teh processed images (unless I use batch tools,
> but that's a different subject).
> I'll have to think a bit about your proposed work-around, esp. in relation
> to OP's problem: keeping external tags in place, while removing outdated
> Digikam tags. My gut feeling is that that's going to cause difficulties.
> Remco

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