[KPhotoAlbum] Improved image viewer?

Robert L Krawitz rlk at alum.mit.edu
Sun Dec 17 02:06:55 CET 2006


   Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 14:35:40 -0800
   From: "Jason Kivlighn" <jkivlighn at gmail.com>

   I've been using KimDaBa/KPhotoAlbum for years now, and I just love
   it.  I'm always disappointed when I see side-by-side comparisons of
   various photo managers with KPhotoAlbum left out.  It definitely
   deserves more attention for it's innovation.

The issues I see basically fall into four categories:

1) It's under rapid development, and the reviewer doesn't want to use
the SVN (i. e. the most recent release is usually well behind what's
under development).  There's some justice to this, but it's the price
we pay for such active improvements.

2) It doesn't do image editing (in particular, the dread redeye
cleanup).  This is indubitably correct, which only goes to show that
you can't please everyone.  Personally, I love it, since I never edit
my originals -- I select the ones I want to edit, export them, and
edit the copies.  Since I shoot with an SLR, and take a bit more care
with my flash technique, redeye isn't my primary concern anyway.

3) It isn't the standard KDE photo management application.  Urk, I
guess Digikam seems to be considered the standard.

4) The interface is just plain *different* from anything else out
there.  It's an acquired taste.  Sort of like...well...an SLR compared
to a point and shoot.

It's a difficult application to review, because reviewers typically
want to use something and draw quick conclusions.  KPA's power really
becomes evident when your collection of images is large and you need
to really manage your collection.  Its workflow is great for
professional or serious amateur photographers (how I'd class myself),
and it's evolving into an even more powerful tool for that purpose --
with a database back end, a studio with multiple photographers could
use it to manage the entire collection.  Professionals aren't likely
to want to edit images directly from their image manager, and if they
do, they're going to use external tools for that purpose, which is
already easy enough.

Personally, I'd hate to see KPA evolve in the direction of "easy to
use out of the box" if it made it harder to do some of the more
sophisticated things it does, or if it changed some of the basic
assumptions (never modify the original photo).  That said, there are
surely interface changes that would help...

   But of course, I have a gripe.  I've always felt that viewing
   images full-size isn't very convenient.  I open an image in the
   viewer and it pops up in a new window (which covers the main
   window).  Since it has covered the main window, I have to close it
   before selecting another image, just for it to reopen again to view
   the next image.  It's just annoying and clumsy to view photo by
   photo, with each popping up in a separate window.

I haven't run into problems with that (and since I use keyboard
shortcuts to raise/lower windows, it's not that much of an issue).  I
usually use full screen viewing, and go pixel-for-pixel when I want to
look at an image more closely.  However, I see your point now that you
mention it.

   If I select multiple images to view, I can only go forward/back,
   rather than arbitrarily viewing one of the selected images.  On my
   system, it is painfully slow to keep hitting next to skip to a
   particular photo.

There are options to jump by 10, 100, and 1000 images, but again I see
your point.

   Something as simple as this would be perfect:
   http://www.digikam.org/?q=system/files&file=images/im012.preview.png

That wouldn't help, however, if you really want to jump ahead a lot of
images (when I'm viewing my shots from our Alaska trip this summer, I
often needed to do just that).

   where selected images' thumbnails are displayed along the bottom
   (or left/right).  The less-intrusive "fix" is to extend the viewer
   to work like the showFoto screenshot when multiple images are
   selected for viewing.  Another route would be to turn the main
   window view into the describe interface, but something tells me
   there'll be plenty of objections to that ;-) Or maybe there could
   even be another view embedded in the main window.  I'd personally
   prefer a solution that didn't require a separate window to view the
   images.

   With some developer/community feedback, I'd love to try hacking this
   together and submitting a patch.  I've got all of the Christmas break to
   play with it :-)  I'd love for the opportunity to give back for your
   excellent application.

The best description would be a working prototype, so go ahead!

-- 
Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at alum.mit.edu>

Tall Clubs International  --  http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail lpf at uunet.uu.net
Project lead for Gutenprint   --    http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton


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