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  1. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Introduction Currently using Apple Aperture. Need a replacement. I've been thinking a lot about photo management. I'm starting to avoid the word 'DAM' as it increasingly refers to industrial sized software costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. So let's look at what I mean by a photo manager: Browser -- look at a bunch of pictures Tagger -- add metadata either singly or in batches. Searcher -- use complex searches to narrow down what I look at. Version tracker -- ability to keep track of derived images. That's the TL;DR version. Next level of detail: Browser Pix initially come in in bunches, and as such they go somewhere in some folder structure on your computer. Many people will use some combination of Year/Month/ and string to describe event. Often remembering that the shot took place on your trip to Italy, or that it was the Smith & Brown wedding is sufficient. Tagger But what do you do when you are looking for the closeup of a butterfly. It was an incidental pic on some holiday, but which one. Now metadata comes into play. If all your holiday shots are tagged 'Holiday' and your program can search existing metadata, your problem is solved. Search for holiday and focal distance less than 5 feet. You still may have a bunch to wade through. If, in addition to some general keywords for the batch you add a few per image you have a big win. E.g. "Butterfly" Tagging is hard. You want to tag it with multiple things. E.g: Describe the scene. Identify the location. GPS is fine, but "Lock Ness, Scotland" or Kensington market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is easier to visualize. ID the people in the scene. Classify them more generally. (Woman with child; Young boy...) Describe the technical aspects -- close up, high/low key, lighting One or more classes of description about the scene -- weather, mood. Usage: Have you sold exclusive rights for this image? Exclusive for 18 months for a calendar? These are facets. I prefer to go through a set of images several times, concentrating on one of these at a time. Sometimes a facet is irrelevant. Weather makes no sense for an interior shot. If you do facets, you need a way to search for images that don't have an entry for facet X. You also need a way to mark a facet as irrelevant. Crudely you can implement these with constructs like WEA:Cloudy but then you still have to be able to search for images that don't have WEA:* as a keyword. And you have to decide on what to do where it's not relevant. WEA:N/A Having some kind of support for actual facets would be a big win. Hierarchical keywords are important, and it's partner, controlled vocabulary. You really want to be able to avoid having entries for Smith, John and be unable to distinguish between the one from Hoboken, NY and the one from East Horsebiscuit, SD. You also want to avoid Rachmaninov, Sergie and Rachmaninoff, Sergie. So controlled vocabulary is your friend. At the very least it should require you to take an extra step to add a new word. The database needs to be bulk editable. E.g. When you started out you had a category, "People" and everyone was under people. Well, after a while that was getting cumbersome. So many friends. So you want to introduce some subcategories People -> High School Friends; people -> industry aquaintences... You want to be able to move someone from one category to another, and have those changes propagate to the images involved. Searcher No point in tagging if you can't search the data. Two programs I trialed, Mylio and Photoshop Supreme, had no provision to search exif data -- where the stuff like time of day, and focal length, and camera model is kept. One program allows you to search for only one tag at a time. I can search for Holiday. Or I can search for butterfly. But I can't search for shots that have both "Holiday" and "butterfly" Ideally you want full boolean search support with 'and,' 'or', & 'not', parentheses for grouping, and wild cards for partial matches. Version tracker A photograph for a professional may have a long history. You often have a shot, then export it in some altered form (cropped, resized, sharpened, colour adjusted, watermarked) Nice to be able to find the original 5 years from now. One recommended practice I ran into had the following: Master image was Raw. Archive version was digital negative. Processing version was 16 bit tiff or PSD Delivered version was tiff or jpeg. This requires a minimum of 4 versions. Add to that: Watermarked versions. Reduced resolution versions for web pages. Colour matched versions for specific printing environments. Cropped versions for mobile web pages. So that's the base case. Implementations differ, and they refine this somewhat. Online resources Impulse Adventure (site: https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/) Unfortunately out of date. But still several good articles. Catalogs and Multiple versions. https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/flow-catalog-versions.html Important Features of Catalog Software. https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/flow-catalog-features.html Controlled Vocabulary (site: https://www.controlledvocabulary.com/ ) Using Image Databases to Organize Image Collections http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/imagedatabases/ Also has a good forum/mailing list. Requirements: The four functions above describe what it should do. Here are some more details about how it should do it. Server requirements I can see implementing this in one of two ways: Either as a stand alone program or as a local web server. The latter has the advantage that it would scale for family or small photo business. Cloud services are slow when you are talking about 10-12 Mbyte files. My network connect takes several seconds per MByte. Cloud services for metadata have to be well optimized -- you really don't want to issue 3000 keyword change requests individually when you change the spelling of a keyword. So: Not cloud based. Runs on Mac or on local apache web server. Keyword handling Fast keywording. Aperture allows drag and drop from a list, multiple sets of hotkeys for words used frequently, copy paste of keywords from one photo to another, and keywords organized in folders. It also allows search for a keyword, and a list matching what you typed so far appears. Other programs that have good keywording include IMatch and Photomechanic. One of the key aspects of this is to have multiple ways to do things. I like aperture's multiple preset buttons -- combine with facets. A history of keywords might help: A pane with the last N keywords in it. Chances are that the next word I use will be one of the last 20 I use about 80% of the time. Full access to standard metadata: EXIF, ITPC, subject to limits of the file format. Controlled vocabulary. I want an extra step to add a new keyword to my list of keywords. This helps with the the Sommer Vacashun problem. Hierarchial vocabulary. E.g. Separate entries for Birds -> raptors -> falcon and Planes -> fighters -> falcon. Parents are stored with keywords. Moving a keyword in the master list, or changing spelling, corrects all usage in photos. This can be done as a background task. Parent items are automatically entered as keywords. (With the correct database linkage, this comes free as a side effect of the point above. Synonyms -- I can define "Picea glauca" as a synonmym for "White Spruce" entering one, enters the other. Facets: For a set of pictures I want to be able to define a set of facets or categories for collections or folders. Facets would be things like: Weather; Who; Where; Ecosystem; Season; Lighting Not all collections would have all facets, but a collection having a facet would nag me to put it in. A facet would have a negation for not applicable (Weather isn't applicable inside a house; Who isn't applicable in a landscape shot.) Facets allow me to go through a collection in multiple passes and get the missing keywords. Searching Complex searches: Find all shots between 2012 and 2015 shot in December or January, shot with my Nikon D70, with keyword "snow" rating of 3 or better shot after 3pm in the day. (Yes, I do use searches like that) Saved Searches. These are the equivalent of smart albums in Aperture. As new pix meet the standards they would be shown. Version Tracking Version tracking If a lower resolution, cropped, photoshopped, composited or a black and white image is produced from a master, the system should show that it's a derived image, and allow access to the master. A master should be able to list derived images. Derived images are not linear but form a multi-branched tree. If my camera produces JPEG and Raw versions, I want the JPEG to be shown as being derived from the Raw version. Metadata applied to a master should propagate down to derived images. Some form of exception handling for this: e.g. -keyword to prevent a people identifier being applied to an image where that person was cropped out. Ability to track through external editing programs. E.g. If I edit a program in photoshop, it will mark the PSD file as being derived, restore as much of the metadata as the PSD format allows. If Photoshop is used to create a jpeg image, that too is tracked. Data robustness All metadata is indexed. Metadata is also written to sidecar files. Where possible metadata is written to the image file itself. (optional -- can stress automated backup systems) Through file system watching, name changes and directory reorganization are caught. Relevant sidecars are also renamed, and the database updated with new file location/name. Sidecar contents include the name of their master file. Should be possible to rebuild entire database from images + sidecars. Should be able to restore all file metadata from database. This requires a lot of under-the-hood time stamps to determine which has priority. All database actions should be logged and journaled, so they are reversible. Reasonable speed with catalogs of more than 100,000 images. Support for previews of all common image formats and most raw formats. Previews and thumbnails are treated as versions of the master. They inherit metadata. Nice to have: Simple non-destructive editing -- crop, brightness, contrast. Rating system Smart albums Drag and drop functionality with other mac apps. Metadata Storage There are three places metadata can be stored: In the image. In a database. In a separate file for each image (sidecar file) Typically these files have the same name as the primary file, but a different suffix. If at least some cataloging information is written to the image, then you can reconnect a file to your database. In principle this can be a single unique ID. This saves you from: You moved or renamed an image file. If you can write more info into the file -- keywords, captions -- then you are saved from: Your database is corrupted. You upgraded your computer and your database program doesn't work there. Sidecar files allow you to recover all your metadata if your database crashes. Downsides of storing data in the image Writing to the original files can corrupt the file. Most RAW formats are well understood enough now to at least identify and replace strings of metadata with the same length string. If you tell your camera to put the copyright string Copyright 2018 J. Random Shutterbug Image XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX Then as long as the DAM keeps that string the same length you are golden. Keeping all metadata (or as much as you can) in the original images makes for very slow access. Your program has to read at least the first few blocks of every image. Depending on the file structure, adding too much data may require rewriting the entire file. Any program that moves the boundaries of data sub blocks better be well tested. Writing data back is time consuming. Some file formats don't have any metadata capability. Some file formats (Photoshop PSD) are noted for mangling metadata. A glitch during the write process can corrupt the image file. The alternative, writing a new file, then replacing the old file requires that the entire file be both read and written, rather than just a chunk of it. This has serious performance issues. Downsides of Databases Databases are fast, but they are blobby, and you are writing into the middle of blobs of data. If the implementation of the database is solid, there isn't much to worry about. But hard disks have errors, and a single error can make a database partially or fully unusable. Good database design has redundancy built in so that you can repair/rebuild. Databases are frequently proprietary. Data may be compressed for speed. Getting your data out may be tricky. (Problem for people using Apple Aperture) Databases frequently are optimized in different ways. In general robustness is gained at the cost of performance and complexity. One compromise is to write all changes first to a transaction file (fast...) and then a background process does the database update in the background. This slows down access some: Have to check both the main database and the transaction file, but unless the transaction file gets to be bigger than memory, this shouldn't be noticeable. Downsides of Sidecars You have to read a zillion files at startup. If you do a batch change (Add the keyword "Italy" to all 3000 of your summer holiday trip shots) the catalog program has open, modify and write back 3000 files. If you rename a file, and don't rename the sidecar file too, your meta data is no longer connected to your image. Best practice Opinion only here: Sorry. You want a unique asset tag that resides in the image. This can be an actual tag like the copyright one mentioned above, or it can be a derived tag from information in the image. This could be the EXIF time stamp (Not unique -- multiple shots per second, multiple cameras.) If your program reads makernotes, the best one is Camera model + Camera serial number + timestamp + hundredths of a second. You want a database for speed. It, of course has the unique ID You want sidecars for rebuilding your database, and for data portability. They have the unique ID. If the database crashes, it can be rebuild from the sidecars. If a sidecar is corrupted, it can be rebuilt from the database. If an image is renamed the ID can be used to reconnect it to the sidecar, and to fix the database. To make this work, you have to use a lot of timestamps. If the sidecar is more recent than the latest time stamp in the database record, then the sidecar is the authoritative record. You also have to have internal checks on data integrity. The record for an image (sidecar or database) needs a checksum to verify that that data isn't corrupt. Given the relatively fragile nature of raw files, best practice is a system that only writes zero or once to the Raw file. This is why the exif time stamp + hundredths, copyright work well. You can include the camera model and serial number in the copyright so that now the copyright message is unique to the camera. At this point you have the ability to create, and recreate a unique ID for each image. If the DAM has the ability to modify the file, you can create this ID once. This saves some time if you ever have to rebuild the database. Having as much of the metadata in the file as possible means taht it travels with the file. This is a win, but comes with the risk of potential corruption. Possibly the best strategy is to leave the original intact, and for clients who need raw data, either add metadata to a copy, or to a derived full data equivalent (e.g. DNG) Sidecars don't need to be updated in real time. The slick way to do this would be that whenever the database makes a change to a record: Make a new record that duplicates the old record in the database. Make the change in the new record. New record is flagged, "not written to sidecar" Old record is marked "obsolete" Another thread writes the sidecar files out, writing out the new one, then deleting the old one (or renaming the new one to the old one's name). Periodically you run a cleanup on the database removing obsolete records older than X days. This gives you the ability to rollback changes. This is not complete: It doesn't address the issue of non-destructive edits. Many programs now allow the creation of multiple images from the same master file, and do not create a new bitmap, but rather a file with a series of instructions for how to make the image from the master. AFAIK all such methods are proprietary. This results in a quandary as the apps that do a good job of tracking metadata may not be able to deal with the non-destructive edits. This can be critical if you crop a person out of an image, crop to emphasis a different aspect, and receive a different caption, etc. The workaround is that you always write out a new bitmap image from a serious edit. Ideally you have a script that looks for new NDEs and writes out an image based on this, copying the metadata from the master and at some point bringing it up for review for mods to the metadata. Robustness against external programs. I like having an underlying file structure organization. I like the idea that if I produce a bunch of cropped, watermarked, lower resolution, etcetera versions of an image that my catalog will track that too. But if the underlying file structure is exposed to Explorer or Finder, then you have the risk of a file being renamed or moved, and the database is no longer in sync with your file system. To budnip answers of the form "This is impossible" here's how to "Finder-proof" your image database. When an image is edited, a file system watcher notes that the file was opened. The file goes onto the 'watch' list. (the program fswatcher does this on mac. I use it to update my web page when my local copy has been edited.) When a new file appears in a monitored directory tree, it's noted. When a file is closed, this is also noted. If there has been a new file created it is checked for metadata. If the new file's metadata has a match for an existing file, then existing file metadata is used to repopulate missing data in the file. (Photoshop is notorious for not respecting all metadata.) Database is updated with the new file being marked as derivative of the original file. optionally a suffix may be added to the new file's image number, showing whether it derives directly from the original or from another derivative. To make this work, the two components are a unique id that can be calcuated from the master, and a file system monitor program that catches create, move, change, and rename events. Notes on current state of the art: Nothing I've found supports version tracking, especially through an external program. Lightroom and Aperture both support a type of versions -- different edits on same master, but at least Aperture doesn't copy metadata to a new version. Aperture supports Stacks -- a group of related pictures. Lightroom: Doesn't support PNG, very clunky interface, slow on large catalogs; Mylio home version doesn't support hierarchical keywords; doesn't index exif information, does not allow or syntax for searches, Photomechanic is fast for keywording and culling, but has very limited search capability. IMatch. Possible contender, Requires MS windows box. Photo Supreme: Erratic quirks. Crashes. One man shop. Can't search Exif in useful way. Fotostation: AFAIK no underlying database. Has to read metadata from images/sidecar files on startup. Slow after 10K images. (They have server based software too that is big bucks.) Luminar: A DAM has been promised Real Soon Now, but no demos, storyboards or feature lists have been published. There is a claim that it is in beta, but no one on their fairly active forum will admit to being part of the beta group. Affinity: Similar to Luminar. Commandline tools Much of the special features for version tracking could be implemented with scripts using calls to these programs. ImageMagick -- good for whole-image conversions, also can read/write internal metadata and sidecars. Exiftool -- read/write exif data reads most makernotes. fswatch -- not really an image processor, but hooks into the operating system and can alert when files have changed -- modified, renamed, moved. Enterprise level There are a raft of these with vaguely defined abilities and very high price tags. Most are SaaS and cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. Once I saw a large price tag, I stopped considering it. WebDAM No real information about capabilities on web site. Extensis. Expensive. Bynder. Joke program. Cloud based set of shoeboxes. WIDEN. Cloud only. Asset Bank. Starts at $500/month for up to 50 users.
  2. I've found and read the bkwine article several times. The author has found a 'least bad' solution, but not a good solution. At this point in time there is not a DAM on the market that meets all the needs of a professional photographer. I've been thinking a lot about photo management. I'm starting to avoid the word 'DAM' as it increasingly refers to industrial sized software costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. So let's look at what I mean by a photo manager: Browser Pix initially come in in bunches, and as such they go somewhere in some folder structure on your computer. Many people will use some combination of Year/Month/ and string to describe event. Often remember that the shot took place on your trip to Italy, or that it was the Smith & Brown wedding is sufficient. Tagger But what do you do when you are looking for the closeup of a butterfly. It was an incidental pic on some holiday, but which one. Now metadata comes into play. If all your holiday shots are tagged 'Holiday' and your program can search existing metadata, your problem is solved. Search for holiday and focal distance less than 5 feet. You still may have a bunch to wade through. If, in addition to some general keywords for the batch you add a few per image you have a big win. E.g. "Butterfly" Tagging is hard. You want to tag it with multiple things. E.g: Describe the scene. Identify the location. GPS is fine, but "Lock Ness, Scotland" or Kensington market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is easier to visualize. ID the people in the scene. Classify them more generally. (Woman with child; Young boy...) Describe the technical aspects -- close up, high/low key, lighting One or more classes of description about the scene -- weather, mood. These are facets. I prefer to go through a set of images several times, concentrating on one of these at a time. Sometimes a facet is irrelevant. Weather makes no sense for an interior shot. If you do facets, you need a way to search for images that don't have an entry for facet X. You also need a way to mark a facet as irrelevant. Crudely you can implement these with constructs like WEA:Cloudy but then you still have to be able to search for images that don't have WEA:* as a keyword. And you have to decide on what to do where it's not relevant. WEA:N/A Having some kind of support for actual facets would be a big win. Searcher No point in tagging if you can't search the data. Two programs I trialed, Mylio and Photoshop Supreme, had no provision to search exif data -- where the stuff like time of day, and focal length, and camera model is kept. One program allows you to search for only one tag at a time. I can search for Holiday. Or I can search for butterfly. But I can't search for shots that have both "Holiday" and "butterfly" Ideally you want full boolean search support with and, or, not, parentheses for grouping, and wild cards for partial matches. Version tracker A photograph for a professional may have a long history. You often have a shot, then export it in some altered form (cropped, resized, sharpened, colour adjusted, watermarked) Nice to be able to find the original 5 years from now. One recommended practice I ran into had the following: Master image was Raw. Archive version was digital negative. Processing version was 16 bit tiff or PSD Delivered version was tiff or jpeg. This requires a minimum of 4 versions. Add to that: * Watermarked versions. * Reduced resolution versions for web pages. * Colour matched versions for specific printing environments. * Cropped versions for mobile web pages. So that's the base case. Implementations differ, and they refine this somewhat. Online resources Impulse Adventure (site: https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/) Unfortunately out of date. But still several good articles. Catalogs and Multiple versions. https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/flow-catalog-versions.html Important Features of Catalog Software. https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/flow-catalog-features.html Controlled Vocabulary (site: https://www.controlledvocabulary.com/ ) Using Image Databases to Organize Image Collections http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/imagedatabases/ Also has a good forum/mailing list. Requirements: Server requirments I can see implementing this in one of two ways: Either as a stand alone program or as a local web server. The latter has the advantage that it would scale for family or small photo business. Cloud services are slow when you are talking about 10-12 Mbyte files. My network connect takes several seconds per MByte. Cloud services for metadata have to be well optimized -- you really don't want to issue 3000 keyword change requests individually when you change the spelling of a keyword. So: Not cloud based. Runs on Mac or on local apache web server. Keyword handling Fast keywording. Aperture allows drag and drop from a list, multiple sets of hotkeys for words used frequently, copy paste of keywords from one photo to another, and keywords organized in folders. It also allows search for a keyword, and a list matching what you typed so far appears. Other programs that have good keywording include IMatch and Photomechanic. One of the key aspects of this is to have multiple ways to do things. Full access to standard metadata: EXIF, ITPC, subject to limits of the file format. Controlled vocabulary. I want an extra step to add a new keyword to my list of keywords. This helps with the the Sommer Vacashun problem. Hierarchial vocabulary. E.g. Separate entries for Birds -> raptors -> falcon and Planes -> fighters -> falcon. Parents are stored with keywords. Moving a keyword in the master list, or changing spelling, corrects all usage in photos. This can be done as a background task. Parent items are automatically entered as keywords. (With the correct database linkage, this comes free as a side effect of the point above. Synonyms -- I can define "Picea glauca" as a synonmym for "White Spruce" entering one, enters the other. Facets: For a set of pictures I want to be able to define a set of facets or categories for collections or folders. Facets would be things like: Weather; Who; Where; Ecosystem; Season; Lighting Not all collections would have all facets, but a collection having a facet would nag me to put it in. A facet would have a negation for not applicable (Weather isn't applicable inside a house; Who isn't applicable in a landscape shot.) Facets allow me to go through a collection in multiple passes and get the missing keywords. Searching Complex searches: Find all shots between 2012 and 2015 shot in December or January, shot with my Nikon D70, with keyword "snow" rating of 3 or better shot after 3pm in the day. (Yes, I do use searches like that) Saved Searches. These are the equivalent of smart albums in Aperture. As new pix meet the standards they would be shown. Version Tracking Version tracking If a lower resolution, cropped, photoshopped, composited or a black and white image is produced from a master, the system should show that it's a derived image, and allow access to the master. A master should be able to list derived images. Derived images are not linear but form a multi-branched tree. If my camera produces JPEG and Raw versions, I want the JPEG to be shown as being derived from the Raw version. Metadata applied to a master should propagate down to derived images. Some form of exception handling for this: e.g. -keyword to prevent a people identifier being applied to an image where that person was cropped out. Ability to track through external editing programs. E.g. If I edit a program in photoshop, it will mark the PSD file as being derived, restore as much of the metadata as the PSD format allows. If Photoshop is used to create a jpeg image, that too is tracked. Data robustness All metadata is indexed. Metadata is also written to sidecar files. Where possible metadata is written to the image file itself. (optional -- can stress automated backup systems) Through file system watching, name changes and directory reorganization are caught. Relevant sidecars are also renamed, and the database updated with new file location/name. Sidecar contents include the name of their master file. Should be possible to rebuild entire database from images + sidecars. Should be able to restore all file metadata from database. This requires a lot of under-the-hood time stamps to determine which has priority. All database actions should be logged and journaled, so they are reversible. Reasonable speed with catalogs of more than 100,000 images. Support for previews of all common image formats and most raw formats. Previews and thumbnails are treated as versions of the master. They inherit metadata. Nice to have: Simple non-destructive editing -- crop, brightness, contrast. Rating system Smart albums Drag and drop functionality with other mac apps. Suggestions? Notes on current state of the art: Nothing I've found supports version tracking, especially through an external program. Lightroom and Aperture both support simple versions -- different edits on same master. Aperture supports Stacks -- a group of related pictures. Lightroom: Doesn't support PNG, very clunky interface, slow on large catalogs; Mylio home version doesn't support hierarchical keywords; doesn't index exif information, does not allow or syntax for searches, Photomechanic is fast for keywording and culling, but has very limited search capability. IMatch. Possible contender, Requires MS windows box. Photo Supreme: Erratic quirks. Crashes. One man shop. Can't search Exif in useful way. Fotostation: AFAIK no underlying database. Has to read metadata from images/sidecar files on startup. Slow after 10K images. (They have server based software too that is big bucks.) Luminar: A DAM has been promised Real Soon Now, but no demos, storyboards or feature lists have been published. There is a claim that it is in beta, but no one on their fairly active forum will admit to being part of the beta group. Affinity: Similar to Luminar. Commandline tools Much of the special features for version tracking could be implemented with scripts using calls to these programs. ImageMagick -- good for whole-image conversions, also can read/write internal metadata and sidecars. Exiftool -- read/write exif data reads most makernotes. fswatch -- not really an image processor, but hooks into the operating system and can alert when files have changed -- modified, renamed, moved. Enterprise level WebDAM No real information about capabilities on web site. Extensis. Expensive. Bynder. Joke program. Cloud based set of shoeboxes. WIDEN. Cloud only. Asset Bank. Starts at $500/month for up to 50 users. Metadata Storage There are three places metadata can be stored: In the image. In a database. In a separate file for each image (sidecar file) Typically these files have the same name as the primary file, but a different suffix. If at least some cataloging information is written to the image, then you can reconnect a file to your database. In principle this can be a single unique ID. This saves you from: You moved or renamed an image file. If you can write more info into the file -- keywords, captions -- then you are saved from: Your database is corrupted. You upgraded your computer and your database program doesn't work there. Sidecar files allow you to recover all your metadata if your database crashes. Downsides of storing data in the image Writing to the original files can corrupt the file. Most RAW formats are well understood enough now to at least identify and replace strings of metadata with the same length string. If you tell your camera to put the copyright string Copyright 2018 J. Random Shutterbug Image XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX Then as long as the DAM keeps that string the same length you are golden. Keeping all metadata (or as much as you can) in the original images makes for very slow access. Your program has to read at least the first few blocks of every image. Depending on the file structure, adding too much data may require rewriting the entire file. Any program that moves the boundaries of data sub blocks better be well tested. Writing data back is time consuming. Some file formats don't have any metadata capability. Some file formats (Photoshop PSD) are noted for mangling metadata. A glitch during the write process can corrupt the image file. The alternative, writing a new file, then replacing the old file requires that the entire file be both read and written, rather than just a chunk of it. This has serious performance issues. Downsides of Databases Databases are fast, but they are blobby, and you are writing into the middle of blobs of data. If the implementation of the database is solid, there isn't much to worry about. But hard disks have errors, and a single error can make a database partially or fully unusable. Good database design has redundancy built in so that you can repair/rebuild. Databases are frequently proprietary. Data may be compressed for speed. Getting your data out may be tricky. (Problem for people using Apple Aperture) Databases frequently are optimized in different ways. In general robustness is gained at the cost of performance and complexity. One compromise is to write all changes first to a transaction file (fast...) and then a background process does the database update in the background. This slows down access some: Have to check both the main database and the transaction file, but unless the transaction file gets to be bigger than memory, this shouldn't be noticeable. Downsides of Sidecars You have to read a zillion files at startup. If you do a batch change (Add the keyword "Italy" to all 3000 of your summer holiday trip shots) the catalog program has open, modify and write back 3000 files. If you rename a file, and don't rename the sidecar file too, your meta data is no longer connected to your image. Best practice Opinion only here: Sorry. You want a unique asset tag that resides in the image. This can be an actual tag like the copyright one mentioned above, or it can be a derived tag from information in the image. This could be the EXIF time stamp (Not unique -- multiple shots per second, multiple cameras.) If your program reads makernotes, the best one is Camera model + Camera serial number + timestamp + hundredths of a second. You want a database for speed. It, of course has the unique ID You want sidecars for rebuilding your database, and for data portability. They have the unique ID. If the database crashes, it can be rebuild from the sidecars. If a sidecar is corrupted, it can be rebuilt from the database. If an image is renamed the ID can be used to reconnect it to the sidecar, and to fix the database. To make this work, you have to use a lot of timestamps. If the sidecar is more recent than the latest time stamp in the database record, then the sidecar is the authoritative record. You also have to have internal checks on data integrity. The record for an image (sidecar or database) needs a checksum to verify that that data isn't corrupt. Given the relatively fragile nature of raw files, best practice is a system that only writes zero or once to the Raw file. This is why the exif time stamp + hundredths, copyright work well. You can include the camera model and serial number in the copyright so that now the copyright message is unique to the camera. At this point you have the ability to create, and recreate a unique ID for each image. If the DAM has the ability to modify the file, you can create this ID once. This saves some time if you ever have to rebuild the database. Having as much of the metadata in the file as possible means taht it travels with the file. This is a win, but comes with the risk of potential corruption. Possibly the best strategy is to leave the original intact, and for clients who need raw data, either add metadata to a copy, or to a derived full data equivalent (e.g. DNG) Sidecars don't need to be updated in real time. The slick way to do this would be that whenever the database makes a change to a record: Make a new record that duplicates the old record in the database. Make the change in the new record. New record is flagged, "not written to sidecar" Old record is marked "obsolete" Another thread writes the sidecar files out, writing out the new one, then deleting the old one (or renaming the new one to the old one's name). Periodically you run a cleanup on the database removing obsolete records older than X days. This gives you the ability to rollback changes. This is not complete: It doesn't address the issue of non-destructive edits. Many programs now allow the creation of multiple images from the same master file, and do not create a new bitmap, but rather a file with a series of instructions for how to make the image from the master. AFAIK all such methods are proprietary. This results in a quandary as the apps that do a good job of tracking metadata may not be able to deal with the non-destructive edits. This can be critical if you crop a person out of an image, crop to emphasis a different aspect, and receive a different caption, etc. The workaround is that you always write out a new bitmap image from a serious edit. Ideally you have a script that looks for new NDEs and writes out an image based on this, copying the metadata from the master and at some point bringing it up for review for mods to the metadata. Robustness against external programs. I like having an underlying file structure organization. I like the idea that if I produce a bunch of cropped, watermarked, lower resolution, etcetera versions of an image that my catalog will track that too. But if the underlying file structure is exposed to Explorer or Finder, then you have the risk of a file being renamed or moved, and the database is no longer in sync with your file system. To budnip answers of the form "This is impossible" here's how to "Finder-proof" your image database. When an image is edited, a file system watcher notes that the file was opened. The file goes onto the 'watch' list. (the program fswatcher does this on mac. I use it to update my web page when my local copy has been edited.) When a new file appears in a monitored directory tree, it's noted. When a file is closed, this is also noted. If there has been a new file created it is checked for metadata. If the new file's metadata has a match for an existing file, then existing file metadata is used to repopulate missing data in the file. (Photoshop is notorious for not respecting all metadata.) Database is updated with the new file being marked as derivative of the original file. optionally a suffix may be added to the new file's image number, showing whether it derives directly from the original or from another derivative. To make this work, the two components are a unique id that can be calcuated from the master, and a file system monitor program that catches create, move, change, and rename events.
  3. @1stn00b , I have to ask you to stop at this line, cause you already crossed the moral line by insulting me (very sharply in fact) with adding me as a "clone account" , when I am in fact active, main PC with Linux Ubuntu 20.04 since 2020 (and before this I was between 2015-2018 until I had to reinstall windows to do in Microsoft Office my University Diploma that year , and then get back on Linux after I bought a new PC). At this time I own 3 laptops (old as they are) with Win 7, 8.1 and 10 (but I share them with my mom cause she needs at least the 7 and 10 for work). Until now the newer one with Win10 with every "free" update, the performance decreases every year, so if drastic measures call, I will add a Debian or something on it later on. The thing is.. you are incorrect, I am not against Linux or Windows or Mac (I could also say in my point of view that you go towards the extreme area of Linux users and that's not healthy) and still consider myself as a intermediate user myself, and use Win or Ubuntu depending on the job I need to do . And I agree that both OS have advantages and disadvantages, just like the new Android 11 on Nokia phones that don't have a stop slide button for updates, and it's practically a Win 10+ forced updates system. I myself still have a flip battery Samsung J5 2015 with Android 5 on it and am still happy to use it for my basic needs. As the saying is... "saying without showing is half a lie" , for this matter I have added a image. While posting, and being on the topic of packages you mentioned, I want to add my own search on this matter (some ideas in nutshell, at least how I see these) : Snap, Flatpak are just some packages that are on a Linux distribution of choice, and adds the distribution's library dependencies out-of-box (something like that) I for one.. rather make them in other formats that are neutral to all, and let communities do in those above packages for their distributions if it is. Or there is .appimage (application) that is friendly to all distributions, it can save and plugins, profiles, makes updates on versions, and all dependency libraries are there, it's like a equivalent windows install app folder with everything in it (at least with Brackets Editor while I used it (they are still active)) And while we're here.. I joined the CodeWeavers team to translate from English to Romanian for their CrossOver application, since I use it too for Guild Wars 2 and other apps. Unfortunately, GW2 has URL ingame pasting bug and freezes in DX11, so I must use sometimes Playonlinux with dx9 so I could paste url links (or texts from a app) to a teammate with Back-End Java knowledge and to another teammate with knowledge on Back-End PHP for better quality translation (I am Web Designer & Front-End Web Dev (sometimes use graphics apps (mostly on Figma online for WD work),photography and collaborate also with other Web Designer colleague in Bucharest). I am also working with excel databases and doing including business intelligence/analytics (as you know.. many write in excel (and have databases as excel sheets) , and to trim down the size, they save them in pdf, and try to think doing this for all, then you receive them and have to remake them in excel format (and then add edited images and other information over the original information)(that's why I said PDF Databases and either I wasn't clear or most didn't understand what I was writing about)... and yeah.. for there are companies that do this for reasons, if you wonder) I also sent a mail to a member of CodeWeavers (who offered me this opportunity) to send it to other more appropriate departments to analyze the 2 scripts on this forum and the url links to "the best part" of this forum. Can't guarantee anything, I just wanted to help out like @Snapseed said, at least with what I can, even if I can't add much value to this. I am for a affinity suite variant on linux, but as I analyzed the situation, currently it's safer to do with Wine compatibility. And with your recent finding on a deprecating function that affects their highest income gain (from Windows), it's safer and better to focus on updating those on calm waters (and have a good compatibility function existing in Wine for it cause we're affected by it also) than update the function in a stormy water and starts to appear other problems in Wine transition with that. Hope this clears out the wrong ideas and don't shoot someone before you see if it's a man or deer (many mortal accidents while doing hunting sport with guns) reference. Cheers
  4. No. Having the idea is a grand start. But it is NOT research. Research is when you look into whether it has been done already, or is a new idea. If the first, then looking into how it has been done so as do it another way or possibly to improve it. If the second, looking into how it could be done. Development is where you take the findings of your research and build on it, develop and write up your method, or as you have done , build a font to fill a demand you have seen. Research is also, in a minor way, asking around, eg in these forums, if anyone has ideas about a topic. I merely would like to emphasise that, so often, you ask a question the answer to which you could find yourself in a few moments on-line searching. Two points here; you say someone else may have a better insight into what to search for. A bit of lateral thinking is needed here. However, your questions may invite discussion, which can be a laudable object. I just wish that you would provide a short explanation of the links you give.
  5. A quick check here indicates that you’re correct about Google, but other search engines behave differently. You were right in your original post: there shouldn't be a space after the colon and this applies to not only Google, but also other search engines—including Startpage for example, who use Google results behind the scenes. With a space, it can also return results for other Serif subdomains, as well as non-Serif sites. Without a space, it only returns results for the specific forum.affinity.serif.com subdomain. Google without space: https://www.google.co.uk/search?&q=site%3Aforum.affinity.serif.com+exif Google with space: https://www.google.co.uk/search?&q=site%3A+forum.affinity.serif.com+exif Startpage without space: https://www.startpage.com/do/search?&query=site%3Aforum.affinity.serif.com+exif Startpage with space: https://www.startpage.com/do/search?&query=site%3A+forum.affinity.serif.com+exif
  6. This is more of a request for a new product "category" for your company — 3D Modeling and Animation software. Yes, there are many such programs on the Market but there is one that I've been using for many years that I really like. It's called: "Carrara". I find it to be one of the easiest, feature-packed and lowest cost programs in this category today. However, the company that owns it, "Daz Productions", hasn't supported it for several years. (Yes, there is "free" software, such as "Blender", but it's not as easy to use as Carrara.) Information on the Carrara software is difficult to find on the Daz website but here is the direct link to the boxed product: https://www.daz3d.com/carrara-8-5-pro If you don't want to click on that link, you'll have to visit their website "daz3d.com", then do a website search for "carrara" and, finally, click the "Carrara 8.5 Pro" thumbnail on that page. I don't have any affiliation to Daz Productions, the Carrara software, etc. I'm simply an End User of Carrara and hate to see it just disappear. You've done a fairly good job with Affinity Designer, that I purchased recently, so I thought Carrara would be a good fit for your company.
  7. Hey guys, what's up? I just did a quick search and noticed that an animation feature of some kind has been requested many times before and I have an idea, although I am not convinced it is the best idea here it is: When researching for an SVG animator I came across an app that has been highly praised by people on some site I landed on and I would like you to consider buying that company and then building a Windows version of it. It fits as you guys also started out with your MAC verions and then the feedback was overwhelming and the user base of Windows is overwhelming and so you built the Win versions also. So you have experience in that and the program is already finished in so many ways, meaning you don't have to start from scratch and you would gain a developer who obviously knows what they are doing. Keyshape - Create animated vector graphics (keyshapeapp.com) If you don't like this idea, please make a program or a Persona in Designer to add this functionality, so this here is the plan B sentence, so that people who don't like my idea above can still vote on this gerneal feature request. And it fits into your whole stealing earning Adobe customers thing as you would offer a replacement for an app that is a huge USP for Adobe right now: Adobe Animate (and AE). So what do you think Serif Code Makers?
  8. Campaigners....lol. Well, I'll add it to my CV. The more, the merrier. Or maybe you were not including me there, I don't know. I have changed my opinion quite drastically in years (and about politics, sports, etc). Ok, I believe the point that is wrong in the above is that, in these 19 pages, and in the other ton of threads this has not been addressed by Serif. Yep, they have said no, and this is not what you wanted to hear. But they have answered this complaint more times and more in depth than many others. A bit of a sample below, but I have been skipping the light irony, and moderation posts....or... some just 'cause have things to do now, and the mouse wheel is showing smoke now due to friction and speed... might have missed some... below is a list... And please, don't post again comments ad hominem (not particularly you: anyone). A company is a complex machine. Typically what is posted in a forum, is previously agreed (at least the general line, not every word) in a meeting or so (in the 10 companies I've worked at, is what I experienced). So, if u see more of patrick's posts, I'd consider that a good percentage of that is merely the company position on the matter (dunno if he's officially in charge of taking the heat and punches, seems like that), not the individual opinion (well, in the matters when they make it explicit, or in which you can read between the lines that is the agreed answer). I got the idea of posting the below, as you say that the 1 posters new users that come here to "leave a vote", are not aware of the previous comments in this very thread (and don't dare to read them, but yep are ready to post... :? ) ...let alone do a simple search about the matter... But hey, to collect some here. Consider many are so old that the company might have a different position in some details. And while it might be helpful for some newcomers right now, this one will also get sunk for ever, too. So... This one suggesting to get Windows if not considering a Mac (as the company also offers Windows versions) https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=131837 this one explains it with a metaphor, but you can read all into that, no need for more. And is from early 2017 (you -redsandro- indeed have been posting about this since 2016 (tells me that prolly you've read most of the company's answers). But only now I see you finally discarding the possibility (or so it reads, I don't know). https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=180965 This one is essential. Mostly tells you how really aware is Serif about the matter. https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=387979 Indirectly, quite revealing : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=395481 Probably the most relevant and recent one: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=463301 This clarifies definitely a particular matter : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/626-affinity-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=465313 In the other thread (but there have been many more threads, but people do not care to make a search, this is not like the linux mates I remember...) , the most relevant : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=460568 This one doesn't go in the line of denying its implementation or not. But we should consider that, as mentioned above, these threads last years, as Serif is not censorship loving, even when many posts are filled with direct attacks to the company. So, opinions, and the company take at it could have evolved, as situation changes. (and I mean, after all the negativity, they might be less inclined for it. I don't wish it to be so, though ) https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=273998 This one is extremely verbose, clarifying, and "abundant" in my book. Again, could or could not apply for today's company position. And he cares to add in this one "in my opinion" : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=292916 This, in very direct language clarifies that it is not the technical issues : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=309134 This one I was not going to link here, as we all (including Serif) know that really, the many distributions now is not a problem in linux, but...the following clarifies one of the questions (and many others have also been replied, repeatedly) you were saying that are not being addressed : "The lack of competition on Linux is a big plus true, but that does not in itself mean it is an attractive option for us right now." https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=310100 A very neutral post below (yet you can read between the lines... I mean, even I can, so.... ) https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=333870 In this one demonstrates that how some of their data tells them that the users through certain sources, are caring more about other matters than a Linux version : The one I mentioned before, which they have posted (not only patrick) so many times: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/47502-affinity-products-for-linux/&do=findComment&comment=460568 Another thread... (this time, MEB ). Shows you how they were very aware of it, and already a bit tired (maybe) of answering it: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=12572 This one from another member (quite an active developer), explains a bit about technical matters (BUT...is from 2014!), but also mentions the money issue : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=12584 Another answer from another staff member (another very busy programmer, yet kind to answer): https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=12601 [omitted a follow-up from him, as you might not appreciate this people's irony... I do.... I kindda like British humor... ) ] The one of the 500k, which I suspected that it was a bit of a joke or random post... confirmed recently... (IMO!) https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=12753 In this one I realize Tony said a random number MAYBE just to speak about some (any) money-up-front proof that the community would be willing to put, to put their money where their mouth is . So, yeah, maybe not to read too much into that number. As I stated before, it does not grant in any way sustainability, just an initial moment, neither other expenses that come besides the salaries (that's only a part of what a company has to pay) Totally OT, but a post which throws a light on their position about posting competitors (ie, the one you mentioned there), that is, actual competitors, of course. Is indeed the one I was remembering in my recent post. They have a ton of patience, for everything: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=140209 Directly that they don't have "apetite" for a KS at this time (back then, surely neither now) https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=165006 This one clarifies important aspects, while I am yet seeing complaints about those not being addressed. Not true, they have, they also explain how is not a single issue, but many: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=276491 While I'm not pasting the ones that were pure moderation work (or off topic, or just light irony), this one puts a take about the choice of OS. And I quite agree with that... One must decide well when choosing an OS, and is responsible of that. And I'd add: And use whatever allows you to get the job done, as that is the most important thing (to survive, at least) or at least should be the take of a professional. https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/3353-linux-seriously-now/&do=findComment&comment=302452 In another thread : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/72023-linux-support/&do=findComment&comment=374324 The amount of threads asking this would have ended with a sticky thread with the main rule of banning any thread asking for it, in other company's forum, but they don't do that. They don't even close these threads (while they have closed threads about other matters and complaints, although very rarely ). As a proof : https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/tags/linux/ Given the situation, I totally understand if they prefer to dedicate time to production and fixing bugs rather than answering _again_ 5 year old threads. They have already given their answer, even if you don't like which it is. Also, they have no moral obligation to do a Linux version. Neither to give you an expanded explanation. Not even if you purchased a Windows or Mac, or iPad version. You purchased that version, not a linux one. Is the same when someone complaints about a lacking feature. I have asked for features. I have not complained nor "required" those to be implemented. I wouldn't have any right. Like everyone else, I downloaded the demo, tested, estimated if I could use it, and there I could be right or wrong, but is all on me. So, in light of that, you can't, have no right to require the exact answer or longer explanation that you would like to hear. They owe you nothing, there's no moral obligation from them. So the complaint tone is what is imo out of place. The dialogue, and seduction about Linux possibilities, totally fine (although imo, having read so many times that they have not interest in that, even a nice tone there is a bit rude. Is like : Me: Sir, would you like a tea? Some random dude: Er... No, thank you very much. Me: I think you need a tea. The world would be better if you drink a tea, right now. The dude : Er... your kindness is overwhelming, but no, thank you. I appreciate it. Me: Are you SERIOUSLY declining my offer of a cup of tea ????!! The exhausted dude: .... Me: WHAT??? You DON'T answer me now??? You dare to ignore me??? Drink this$%!! cup of tea, NOW!. You OWE it to me. And so ad infinitum.... I'd LOVE a Linux version, but whenever emerges some solid data that would be profitable for the (not a single solid data in the bazillion posts I've read in years) company, and heck, they feel as going for it, is their project. Because I love Linux and its freedom. I am indeed very, very nostalgic of the old Linux community kindness. For most of it, I declare it gone, lost with the dust of the years.... PD: Is not "aggressive" to have a different opinion (that's yet another attempt to try to shut other people's voice. Hidden censorship). Neither to provide with reasons and data. Probably you only refer to the most rude attacks, but... just in case you refer to any kind of opposition to a point of view. PD 2 : Sorry for the links that went "graphic mode" by their own will. Seems is triggered even with a space bar tap. Even if I ctrl+z -ed every each of them. PD: 3 : This post is not directed to you, Redsandro, it's a post thrown to the void. But you gave me the idea, when I read from you that newcomers (can't read prev pages? Or search? It's a must in every forum) are in disadvantage as don't know if the company have answered about this. Well, here's some links pasted with those answers.
  9. Hi DC I must say I was hoping for a more challenging set of examples. I have picked through the features you cited and come up with the following: Searching: I really find this one quite amusing. One of the fundamental functions of any OS is to incorporate a comprehensive search engine. The MAC OS for examples can search for files by date, size, name, tags, ratings, keywords, filename, file extension etc. etc. Searches can be saved and used again, smart searches, automator, macros. Spotlight searches. Even SIRI can search for you if you ask her nicely :) Come on; you really need a DAM to search for your photos? Comparing pictures side by side is done very simply by using several feature in MAC OS. Quick look can easily do this and so can Preview. Preview even has a cute little magnifying glass feature like Aperture does. Importing & Exporting: No need. Equivalent to copying your pictures to a folder. Copying settings to a selected range of pictures: AP does that very nicely Presenting files/assets in a multitude of ways: MAC OS can present all files in so many ways such as lists, thumbnails as a slide show, quick view, side by side. By date, size, type et al. "Combinig selected ranges of assetzs in collection": That's just called using different folders in any OS. Nested folders and all sorts can be used. Even automatic Smart folders. "sharing them wirh otheres": MAC OS can do this by a simple right click and share. Tons of ways to do that. I don't need a DAM for that. "Archiving and versioning": All done automatically and simple with Time Machine in MAC OS. Even compare versions side by side and restore old versions and undelete images previously deleted years ago. None of these are "nasty" workarounds, take any "effort" or make my life in the slightest "difficult". In fact the MAC OS is a joy to use and infinitely more powerful than any DAM I've used. All the features you cited (and much more) can very easily be achieved by AP & MAC OS If either you or I have missed anything you will almost certainly find AP can do it for you: See HERE With respect, you have given it your best shot DC but failed to convince me that I need a DAM. I understand that you do, and many others do. I also acknowledge that they are useful. DAMs have some nifty little features essential for some workflows. But uniquely more powerful than a good OS? NEVER! I have enjoyed our discussion but I now need to move on. Cheers Havovubu :)
  10. This is pretty normal. If you search the forum you will find a lot of people that say "If XY would be possible, I could finally cancel my Adobe subscription". I see two categories here: People who demand tools that are just right not there like a DAM ("Lightroom replacement") and people that basicly have all they want and just struggle with minor missing convenience functions. For me the latter is the case. Indeed. First it's annoying that nobody really seems to really want improvements anymore, but after two years I can see where this comes from: It's really kind of giving it up and dealing with it. I reported many many problems for Publisher two years ago and none got solved. And sometimes I find really old ones that still are not handeled, because an iPad version has priority. "You get what you pay for." - The price point is really a very big factor here. I would in no way accept all the problems Affinity still has for Adobes pricing. But this here is another story. You should really see if the tools offer enough that justifies the money for you and base your decision on that. I bought the whole Affinity suite at the last sale, because I tested Publisher intensively in the Beta and found it suitable for my needs - even if there are many bugs and general UX problems. But I don't get or feel that excitement that some writers of blog posts have. Affinity is really hyped. Personally I don't feel that this is justified. To me it's good software at a price point where I can accept all the problems and see my investment justified. But I don't feel that I paid too less.
  11. More and more designers are fed up with Adobe's policy of renting software. The fact that people allowed companies to continue this trend is sad because it's going to be even worse down the road. It won't be applied to just programs. Thank you Affinity for, at least now, not going down that path. I hope you won't change your mind when you become more popular. I've been using Adobe for many years but I would rather switch to Affinity, so here are some things that I hope you fix or implement (maybe you already did in the new upcoming version): For Affinity Photo: - Brushes window needs to be designed/organized so that brush options and shapes can be picked and adjusted quicker. - Brush shapes in black, not gray color. - The brush deselects visually in brush panel so I don't know which one I'm working with - When you ctrl+click on a layer it selects it but the layer panel doesn't automatically show the layer until you force it to by CTRL+K - The layer structure needs to show more clearly that files are inside a certain group/folder, maybe by putting a different stroke on the layer boxes, or by color, or something on left side. Maybe a thicker line or spacer at top and bottom layer of group. Currently it's easy to get lost when there are lots of layers. Color coding would help. - Needs right click context menu so when you click over a layer on main visual it shows you all the layers that are beneath the clicked area. This way you dont have to search in layers window where is the layer that is on bottom. - Mesh Warp tool - would be nice if insides of shape could be adjusted, not just the outside frame (like in Photoshop). - When duplicating an object with move tool+ALT, it would be nice if cursor changed shape like a double-arrow. + Shape changing is much better than Adobe's. Blur and sharpen filters are most used so it's good that more time is being spent on their development than all the minor plugins which Photoshop is packed with. - Hoping these will eventually be added: Rotate View Tool (rotates preview of canvas by quick button press to draw easier), Content-Aware transform, Smart Objects equivalent, seamless pattern helpers and preview Overall Affinity Photo has what it takes to replace Photoshop, at least in the kind of design work I do. However Affinity Designer is too basic. Thank you for combining vector and raster. That is a great start. Designer might be suited for people who want to create fine-art-type visuals like the ones you show on your site, and it may be useful for people who like creating simple visuals using shapes, and for maybe interface design. Other than that it lacks tools for detailed design and tuning. One example is when creating type art and changing letter shapes. Also when inking illustrations. This is where Illustrator has tools that really make a difference: Shape Builder, Blob brush, Smooth tool, Join tool, Width tool. I never liked Illustrator for graphic design but these tools are great and I really hope you implement them soon. I don't know how far you can copy them without being sued by Adobe but get as close as you can with your own spin on it. Also your version of AI's Fidelity so you can adjust how much the shape changes or stays true as you write with brush. Similar to Affinity Photo, looking forward to these changes: a Layers panel that's visually organized better, better brush panel for quicker access and adjustment of brushes, rotate view tool, seamless pattern helpers and preview, and maybe a fix so when you draw with vector brush it doesn't continuously change shape as it follows your path. It should stop changing after a certain distance. Hopefully it won't be 3 years until these changes are made but good luck, and I hope the programs and company develop to something many people will enjoy.
  12. Hello @roger1954, welcome to the forum. Since you are new here around you may not have noticed that it is possible and a good advice to search the forum before posting. This is a very active community and many questions have been discussed before. I don't blame you for asking I just want to guide you towards an answer to your question 🙂 The answer is already there (and some very interesting comments, too). Please see this thread and the answer in it: Cheers, d.
  13. Hi Havovubu, frankly spoken, I'm not familiar with MacOS ... so my judgement is only based on Windows systems. And of course even on windows certain things seem "possible" ... but in terms of handling just not easy and practical. And from a professional point of view the efforts to get same or similar results seem to be not justified. I guess there must be reasons for why DAM SW can be sold even on MacOS systems ... My approach is not to blaim one for a soloution they chose as best for themself .... I'm trying to search for the best practical way to deal with the tasks I'm focussing. And I'm happy to adapt to other and new suggestions - as long as they seem to be the better possible way to come to results. So talking about requirements: I want a one stop shop when it comes to picture management. I also want easy access to all of the above mentioned features. I don't want many other applications to fullfill my needs. And again: I'm talking windows and not MacOS here Searching: To find detailed informations about your files it needs in depth knowledge of the way to set up the search filters in windows (in comparison to proper DAM Sytems) ... in standard setup it is not possible to tag pictures, easily add meta data, give pictures a rating, colour or pre-selection. Please keep in mind, that a SW needs to be uasable for customers (no diploma in SW engineering required to operate the system!). I'm not aware that macros can be accessed in windows to work for you. What are smart searches? (Even the need to ask for the availability of these features should be an indication for the unavailablility to the public - I've been working and programming on windows based systems for more than 30 years - how should anyone with less experience easily jump into theses features?) Comparing: Did you ever utilize or look into the LR feature of parallel comparison of pictures? It displays the exact same areas of RAW pictures 1:1 for a proper judgement of the picture you want. I do have my doubts that MacOS comes with a feature similar to that - but as I said, I'm a windows user and not familiar with the MacOS Import/Export: We are talking catalogs here, conversion options (output formats, CMYK, sRGB), resizing, maybe output sharpening ... Windows is not capable of theses things unless you use additional tools Copying settings: We are not talking AP ... we are takling DAM! AP has as well excellent export options ... Combining and Sharing: Hate to mention LR again ... selecting dedicated folders, extracting them as a catalog for external use (even though the original files are not available) and re-inserting them in the dadicated catalogues with altered meta data. Thats a strong feature ... and of course, you might be able to exchange it through copy and paste in folders ...(better don't make any mistakes) ... but does it really need further arguments to see the difference? Archiving: Isn't time machine another additional proprietary SW product that is enhancing the OS (no problem with that - even though I'm not aware what it is capable of) ... and again: wouldn't it be nice to have that within a one stop shop SW? And again: if whatever OS you use is so capable, why are some many standalone DAM systems sold??? (And we all know the answers) To make one thing clear: My goal is not to draw balck & white pictures ... there is no right or wrong and I'm sure many things can be achieved by the OS as well ... but eventuall I want a one stop shop ... with all the bells an whistles .. easy to use and easy< to understand. I'd love to see a seamless DAM soloution included in the Affinity series. Certainly since from my point of view (even if many feature theoretically are available) this adds up to a high end usable soloution. The OS alternative seems like a "it's tough but with huge efforts theses things are available as well" soloution. Thats nice to know. But when you've got do deal with it on a daily base I'd prefere the easy and professional soloution. There is a reason why DAM Systems can be sold very well. One last statement from my side: I'm struggeling a bit with the ambithion you and other people try to defend their ideas. I feel no need to convince anybody. In contrary: if you come up with a new and interesting approach, I'm happy to listen and learn. I'm here to broaden my views, not to convince anybody (very selfish, I know :-) ). Thats my main reason I'm taking part in these discussions ... I can only learn and people like you have got other and propably more experience in some areas. Currently I see no way to swap any kind of dedicated DAM system for the OS ... but first of all it seems you're happy with using your OS - that's brilliant. Maybe seeing you using it could convince me as well (hard to judge right now). Right now I can't see a windows OS as an alternative by any means. One reason I'd like to see AP comming with a seamless integrated DAM system.And whatever comes up next needs to compete and be better than what I'm using right now. Cheers, Timo
  14. Over 20 years with psd, but new to Affinity. I'm here in the first hour, following a web search on "how do I save my workspace in Affinity Photo? The verdict is "you can't?" That's a big deal breaker. If using the thing is a pain, there's no way I'm going to open it regularly. I go back and forth between tasks, and go from one monitor to two desktop displays. Speed, and frankly, joy, come from knowing where everything is all of the time. I don't need a cyclone hitting my studio. And it would be nice to allow kids to learn on their own setup. From a quick search, this isn't even on your radar. Please. It's worse than frustrating. Edit: I just went from my desktop display + laptop screen to just the laptop in Designer. My relative palette layout stayed about the same. When I plugged back into my desktop display, the palettes stayed fairly close but were now under the the app's header bar and the only palette I could move was the tool palette. Everything was frozen, had to force close the app and restart.
  15. Indeed. That is strange because the first time I was able to read the whole article. Try this info directly from the researcher instead: https://twitter.com/m8urnett/status/866353982217699328 or alternatively these key words in Google: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b&q=Mark+Burnett+windows+10+enterprise&oq=Mark+Burnett+windows+10+enterprise&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i160k1.7163.13926.0.14376.22.22.0.0.0.0.148.2438.6j16.22.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.22.2428...0j0i19k1j0i22i30i19k1j33i21k1.rLRL8OU-aic&gfe_rd=cr&ei=XTikWeSYFsHR8gfmzr-IDA As far as the first link I was talking more about Bruce Shneier himself as being much better and unbiased source. I am not sure right now and I will have to check but I think he even uses Windows but he still criticises it. The EFF might be biased but it is always better to be cautious when in comes to Microsoft (and other big companies) with its history of shady tactics (one of them happened recently here in my country when MS payed some bigger media not to write about how it once unlawfully nearly destroyed a hardware shop because it was selling PCs with Linux). As far as data or whole disk encryption - that is entirely another topic and another layer of security. I wasn't talking about it. I was talking about the issue of the OS seeing user's important data and being able to suck them out whenever Microsoft pleases. Encryption doesn't help here. When you are working with the data it must be decrypted and MS can see and get the decrypted data since MS fully controls your OS, not you anymore. This is why people working with valuable data can (and should) have an issue with this. They probably use some kind of encryption already and employ some anti-malware strategies - but all this is toothless if MS were to decide to suck some of their data through the telemetry service. Yes, if you use Linux or OS X or whatever you are still more or less vulnerable and have to employ some countermeasures but it is still better than OS from the company that openly says (in its EULA) that they can go through any of your data and send anything out. This is just too much even for people without very sensitive data. MS has no business to constantly sniff around if user says no. If they want the data for crash reports there are much better ways how to do it without spying. The only way I would use Windows 10 (if I had to) is inside some container isolated from the Internet. And using Win10 inside a company - I would be OK with it. It is up to the company what it uses. I wouldn't work with my personal data there anyway. I was rather talking about freelancers, home personal computers, business/company owners etc. Those who can decide what equipment to use. Also apart from the telemetry there is the second issue I have already talked about - MS can (and likes to) actively and constantly control and rearrange your system. When you set something up you can never be sure it will stay this way. MS can revert it back any time. Some settings or features can disappear etc. You cannot stop update installation and focus on your work. Ads can appear inside OS and take up valuable space. You are no longer in control. This is a nightmare especially for people doing some serious work and people that like to customise their tools and workflows. This is where Linux shines. Of course it comes with the price (not user friendly, certain issues) but if you really want you can set your workstation up according to you and make changes how YOU want. Win XP, Vista and 7 were not infinitely configurable but they were/are still far cry from Win 10 when it comes to user control. I don't know about you but I like to customize my working environment according to my needs and I like to remain in control of it. I am not planning to completely ditch Windows (at least yet). I have some plans (virtualisation/emulation/remote desktop/specialized computer/...) how to use it alongside my main system if Microsoft doesn't come to its senses or if there is not some game-changing event (an influx of awesome apps) concerning Linux or OSX. But I will always want some reliable and customisable non-intrusive (and good looking) core main system. A workhorse. It might be Linux, it might be something else but it won't be Win 10 in its current form. I kind of liked Win XP, Vista and 7. But I have never been a huge fan of Microsoft and never completely trusted it. Thank you but my English should be much better.
  16. Good on you Jim, how very quaint! You sound like a Brexit voter from the 1950's to me - better to go it alone than to strategically collaborate - look how that's turning out! I have no idea what Bentley's, Waterford, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Harris tweed or bagpipes has to do with anything other than to demonstrate your vintage! The people who will decide Affinity's fate will be the market, the customers and no-one else. The management may steer it, but the market will decide. If Serif want to survive in the market, as a market leader rather than a niche player, they are welcome to do it, but they won't get my business. I run a large design studio, and I have NO CHOICE but to use Adobe at this stage, despite how gracious the Serif people may be and how apparently wonderful the Affinity products may be. The fact of the matter is that I cannot switch my studio to Affinity at this stage, despite how much I'd like to (even though I really would like to as I hate Adobe's business model) because: 1. Serif does not provide a complete set of integrated products - Affinity Publisher will be here soon, so then Affinity will cover Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, but what about Lightroom, Dreamweaver, Premier Pro, After Effects and Character Animator? What about the assets library of fonts, photos, etc? What about Behance? Adobe currently wins because of their full suite of products, their individual product features and the integration between their software products 2. Serif does not provide fast enough development cycles - Adobe have the capital and scale to continue to outpace the development speed of Affinity products, which means whatever Serif does, Adobe can copy, match and block in return 3. Serif, as far as I am aware, does not have the capital base to become a market leader - Adobe is a publicly listed company on the Nasdaq with a current share price of $244 per share, up from 22 cents in 1986, with a market cap of $119.51B, thats billions Jim, not millions! Serif are a privately owner British firm. If they are going to contend as a market leader in the CREATIVE INDUSTRY SOFTWARE market (not the bagpipes market Jim!), they will have to seek an Angel, go through various rounds of capital raising on their way to an IPO, because unless they go public or team up with an entity who is already public (such as Branson's Virgin) Serif won't have the capital or the capacity to actually challenge Adobe. This means that currently Serif just cannot compete with Adobe, in the professional creative industries software market. And given that is the case, if Serif does not capitalise for growth, they will either be an acquisition target for another company (like Black Magic, Apple, or even Adobe so they can shelve it like they did Freehand) or go up and down like a balloon similar to Quark Express. Now I only say all this because I hope Serif, or someone, can finally take Adobe on at its game. I hope the graciousness you speak of Jim regarding the Serif people sees a new type of business model developed for the creative industries, one that is far more sensitive and responsive to the needs of creatives than Adobe has ever bothered to be. I hope this new type of business model build quality products like Serif has done, rather than the Adobe bloatware and Adobe's dead-end, discontinued software packages like Freehand, AnimateCC, etc which leaves everyone hanging, or their bullshit proprietary crap like Flash rather than working with common agreed standards, and many other issues I have with Adobe. I hope this happens sooner rather than later, because Adobe think they're invincible, rather like Yahoo did when they knocked by buying the Google search engine for $1M in its early years because they arrogantly thought they are better. Just like google started with 2 guys in a shed, there is no reason whatsoever that Serif cannot take on Google, and if they did I would support them the moment it was commercially viable to do so. But guess what - Serif will need to capitalise and they will need to play with the big boys to do it, otherwise someone else will do it, like Apple, perhaps on the back of acquiring Affinity from Serif, and should this happen then Apple is no better than Adobe when it comes to ignoring customer requirements and delivering poor value for inflated prices. So I hope Serif does it with their own steam just like the Google lads did, and I hope they harness to power of the creative industries crowd to do it, because there is a lot of resentment against Adobe that Serif can capitalise on. I wouldn't even bother sharing these detailed viewpoints if I didn't think the quality of Serif products gave them a fighting chance, but one thing is certain however - they won't get very far with quaint 1950's views, or raving reviews from hobbyists and the consumer market alone. Instead, they'll need to bring the creative industries fully on board. Oh, and finally, I'm sure that Serif can cope with suggestions from the market as to how their offering is viewed and how potential customers view their future options, with a view to becoming commercial customers of Affinity, which is why I have contributed my view.
  17. All valid points! As far as I understand it, this forum is for members to get acquainted with the software, learn how to use it, get tips and tricks, find help from more experienced users and/or moderators, get links to tutorials, read news when a new version is out and where to download it. Also, report bugs we find to help make the apps even better than they already are or ask for missing features that would make our lives easier using the apps. It is NOT for whining about the software not being released for other OSes. Sure, I’ve complained to companies about their software not having a Mac version in the day but I’ve always done it discreetly, via email or contact forms, hoping that companies would see it would be a good thing. If it didn’t happen, I learned to live without it. Public whining only bores, antagonizes or annoys some members that are here for the real and valid reasons of joining this community. Now what I'm wondering is, should Affinity hire someone just to reply here "we will think about releasing a version for your OS when we are done with the Mac version" so the developers can have peace and quiet? Maybe they could program in the forum software an automatic reply to these types of threads... And it seems to me that it's not hard to do a search in these forums and find that: 1- these types of questions have been asked before 2- the official replies were already given. To those people who come here just to demand this or that version, take some of your time and look for a similar software that is already available for your platforms (yes, there are apps out there for you!) and use that instead. And leave the devs alone so they can do their real job! Please! Thank you!
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