[Shotwell] import modifies image files
jim at yorba.org
Fri Sep 16 13:17:17 PDT 2011
This is happening due to a limitation of F-Spot and it's tag writer. F-Spot
doesn't write the hierarchical tag structure into the file, merely each
component of the hierarchy as a flat list, like so:
is written as
Vacation, California, San Francisco
Which we can't distinguish from the photo being tagged as "Vacation",
"California", and "San Francisco".
We do read in the hierarchy from the F-Spot database and use that, but if we
ever have to examine the file again to reflect its metadata in the Shotwell
database, all these tags are added as root-level. Users in the past found
this to be undesirable. To get around this, we were writing the hierarchy
we found in the database back to the file, which is what you're seeing.
On second consideration, we realize that this is problematic, especially for
the user that's not expecting us to touch their files in any way. We
believe we have a better solution in hand and hope to have this ready for
On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 10:53 AM, Dougie Nisbet <dougie at highmoor.co.uk>wrote:
> I'm slightly alarmed. I had pretty much decided to take the plunge and
> migrate directly from f-spot to shotwell until I was faced with a mixture of
> hierarchical and flat tags. I use tags a lot and suddenly things were
> looking very messy and a bit scary, so I decided to go back to f-spot while
> I still could, with the view of revisiting shotwell in a more methodical
> With this in mind, and with the view of parallel running f-spot and
> shotwell for a bit, I deleted and reinstalled. This time when I asked
> shotwell to import my f-spot database, I made sure it did not have "Write to
> Image File" checked. Then I kicked off the import. However the imported
> files are being shown as modified, and when I look at the exif data using
> exiftool I can see a File Modification Time coinciding with the import.
> Is shotwell modifying the images even though I've asked it not to, and if
> so, in what way?
> PS: An annoyance with this behaviour is that I do a nightly backup of my
> image directory to another machine using 'rsync'. And now after the import
> the backup will think every single image has changed and transfer the lot.
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> Shotwell at lists.yorba.org
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