[KimDaBa] Just-after-initial thoughts

jedd jedd at progsoc.org
Thu Feb 26 03:22:09 GMT 2004


 Okay .. I've started (4415 pics done, 2300 to go) on the arduous process of
 importing my image directories.  It's going really well so far, I'm happy to
 say.   I think I have as much taste in selecting software as Jesper has skill
 in coding it.  </ObCompliment>

 Anyway, I have two questions and a few wishlist items.  Again it's quite
 possible that I've missed things that are already there but hidden, so
 I apologise in advance for anything that fits that category.

 Question 1
 Why is there a separate way to modify a single file or to modify multiple
 files -- can't that be determined by whether you've selected one or more
 files?  Or is it a safety feature so you don't accidentally modify more
 files than you think you are?

 Question 2
 How does everyone cope with managing things that are conceptually
 sub-sets of information?  I'm writing very wordy descriptions in the
 keyword area, like 'event - 20030606 - dvd night at bob's', trying to
 keep a consistent format for descriptions, and I've set up a custom
 option group for the content of only the 'arty' photos (for example),
 and it seems a bit unweildy, but I can't think of a better way ... ?

 Wishlist Items

 Startup information about new files:
 Rather than simply saying 'New images were found - shall I trust
 their timestamps?' how about something like --
 -- simply listing the sub-dirs showing where the new files have
 been found.  This would give the user some context so they can
 decide whether to trust or not,
 -- mention the total number of new files
 -- check if there's EXIF data in any of them (I've tested this by adding
 a small number of files that definitely contain EXIF date information,
 and it still asks).  At the least, clarify to the user that if they select 'No'
 then EXIF data will be honoured, but then it'd be nicer if it told you 
 if the EXIF data was actually there first.
 -- show all new files and their file-time-stamps and their EXIF dates.
 This could be a huge list, I know, but shouldn't be too time-consuming
 to calculate & display.

 Keep image viewer on-screen while editing properties:
 This would make it easier when you're adding the names of people
 in 'busy' photos.  The ThumbNail on the properties-dialog is too
 small to be useful once you get more than 5 or 6 people in a photo.

 Next-image button while editing properties:
 Accept changes and takes you to the next image - rather than having
 to find and select the next photo with the mouse and then ctrl-1 to
 edit its properties.  Should make it nice and fast when adding new pics.

 Put focus to Persons-widget when opening properties:
 I gather that the tab-order is a function of the order that widgets are
 created, but hopefully making the cursor start in the text-entry field
 is easy.  This would reduce the mouse-dependency a smidge.

 Remember window positions:
 On startup, kimdaba reverts to its (hard-coded?) original window size,
 which is way small on my monitor (1600x1200).  Worse yet, the properties
 editor reverts to a painfully small window, and even worse, the 'extra'
 properties dialog is positively tiny, and isn't placed next to the main dialog.
 Options | SaveCurrentWindowSetup - doesn't remember the size of the whole
 dialog, or the widget sizes within that.  I think I saw something about you
 intending to embed extended properties dialogs into the main dialog, yes?
 That'd solve a lot of problems.

 Maintain highlighted thumbnail after image edit:
 After editing the properties of a file, the thumbnail view then un-selects
 the image you were working on, which makes it tricky to identify the
 next image on a busy screen with small thumbnails of similar pics.
 It'd be easier if the selection is retained on the thumbnail view, when
 you return from the properties editor.

 Image information on hover:
 I know you don't like having a pop-up box showing you information, and
 I tend to agree -- it takes up lots of space and hides other images.  But
 how about an extra line in the status bar, where it shows persons/location
 etc for the thumbnail under the mouse?  Makes it easy to work out if you've
 updated the pic yet, too.

 Time stamp information:
 Show the time-stamp as well as the date-stamp for files.  I don't know
 if it'd be useful to be able to search for photos taken at a particular
 time ('show me all photos that *might* be sunsets' perhaps? ;) .. but it'd
 certainly be nice to have the time-of-day shown in the viewer.  Most
 of my photos (even scanned-in pics, thanks to APS info) have got both
 date & time stamps that I trust.

 Hide the image information on the viewer:
 I see a wishlist already for a time-out on that info, but other options include
 semi-transparency of the information, or having it underneath the image in
 a kind of 'status bar' etc.  With a few names and a description and date
 and location field all populated, the black-box can hide a lot of the photo.
 Perhaps even being able to nominate which fields are shown, the order
 they're shown, maximum space to allocate for each, etc.  The filename
 could even be inserted into the title of the window - sometimes there's
 good info in the filename.

 Export selected files:
 In addition to the current wishlist to be able to 'copy all selected files to a
 nominated directory' (how about a sub-dir created that contains symlinks
 to all the selected files?), it'd be great to be able to dump a .txt file that
 corresponds to each image, that contains all the Location, Persons, etc
 information for each image.  An option to dump all that information into
 a single .txt file (for people afraid of CLI's and cat ;( ).  This would be good
 for when you're emailing a set of photos to non-kimdaba-enabled friends.
 I know it'd be easier to acquire smarter friends, but this takes time.

 Rename field:
 Rather than find all files that match a keyword, selecting them all, creating
 a new keyword, and then deleting the old one -- it'd be great to be able to
 just rename a Person, Keyword or Location, and have all references to that
 item changed across the entire database.

 Echoing earlier wishlists:
 Please please .. let the ThumbNails be stored in a different directory.  It's
 easy to get rid of them, but then it slows down the viewing process later.
 Just being able to nominate a different directory would be enough -- it'd
 still be fast to browse in kimdaba, and it'd keep my image directories


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