Thoughts on Tagging in KDE SC 4

No screenshots because I’m lazy, but I’m trying to figure out searching in Dolphin in KDE SC 4. It’s…interesting.

I’ve in the past put a lot of time and effort into tagging photos and images only to have my Digikam database die on an upgrade. As long as the data doesn’t stay with the files, I don’t know if I’ll ever trust tagging, even though I really want to use it.

I keep images in ~/Images/, and my desktop wallpapers in ~/Images/Desktop/. I may have an image such as ~/Images/Sailormoon/Ami.jpg and a wallpaper such as ~/Images/Desktop/Sailormoon/Sailormercury.jpg. I would love to see the say where I can remove ~/Images/Desktop/, relocating the images inside to their subfolders in ~/Images/, then use tagging to tag desktop images for easy locating. (Actually, if I could set images with specific heights and width to be auto-tagged with “wallpaper”, that would be most excellent; I wonder if that Dropbox plugin I’ve heard about would have this implemented if submitted as a feature request…)

I decided I’d try tagging some files in Dolphin to play around with it. I went into ~/Images/Petite Princess Yucie/ and tagged everything with “Petite Princess Yucie”. Then I did a Dolphin search for “yucie” and it returned…a bunch of random files. Likewise with “petite princess yucie” (without and with quotes). I followed this with a search for “petiteprincessyucie”, and after quite a lengthy wait … after twenty minutes of waiting for results, I gave up on it. It turns out, the key to searching by tag is to search for “hasTag:’Petite Princess Yucie'”.

Something I would love to see is to give my tags a key/value association, similar to EXIF data. Sure, I can tag an image as “Strawberry Marshmallow” and “BARASUI” and “Matsuri”, but I would like to be able to tag it as “Series:Strawberry Marshmallow” and “Artist:BARASUI” and “Character:Matsuri”. This should allow finding the file when searching for the value, but the key could be used to filter the search, much like filtering “artist:name” in Amarok. (Edit: Apparently this is in the works, or at least planned.)

I’ve actually decided to go with tagging such as “Character:Matsuri”, and I notice that it’s adding blank tags into the tag list that opens when adding/changing tags. That is worrisome, making me think I’m on the path to having so many tag problems that I’ll have to delete the entire database file which stores this information later down the line…

Final thought for now: Don’t try to tag 1,000+ images at once. Dolphin’s been frozen for a while just from my clicking on the text to bring up the “add tag” window.

Update: I killed the Dolphin process. I re-ran Dolphin, went to tag other images, and found that nothing is tagged. Either the hour of tagging I just did was already in vain, or something crashed so that I can’t access those tags. Maybe in SC 4.5…

Giving a minimal, very limited re-try, tagging with “Artist:Barasui” left me with only a blank tag in the tag list. Re-tagging with it left me with the blank tag and the “Artist:Barasui” tag in the tag list. Adding “Series:Strawberry Marshmallow” left me with “Artist:Barasui” and a blank tag in the tag list. Adding “Artist:Barasui” again leaves me with a blank tag, “Artist:Barasui”, and Artist:Barasui in the tag list. I think Nepomuk doesn’t like a colon in a tag.

Further update: Closing Dolphin and re-opening Dolphin has wiped out my tags again.

Update 20100302: I updated KDE from the Kubuntu repositories, and everything is looking good now. I had filed a bug report one using colons in tags, and Sebastian Trüg logged in a bug fix. Others may have fixed unrelated fixes, as well.

I’m going to remain cautious, as I don’t know what other bugs may wipe out all my tags. I’ll keep Digikam using its own tagging system for quite some time yet to come. But things have taken a delightful positive turn, so I’m looking forward to tagging files! (In moderation, to begin with.)

One thought on “Thoughts on Tagging in KDE SC 4

  1. Karl Schmidt

    comments, description and tags should be stored in the photo file – not anywhere else.

    This will be sure to break.

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