Delimiter choice

Jeff F
Posts: 22
Joined: 19 May 11 1:43

Delimiter choice

Post by Jeff F » 15 Dec 12 15:29

I would like to use the catalog label structure as hierarchical keyword option but am not sure which character to use as the delimiter.

Any thoughts on what might be a good choice with an eye to longevity and catalog migration? Is there a leading candidate on what might be considered 'standard'?

I am thinking about using the Lightroom 'pipe', in addition to saving the Lightroom version in its own XMP as offered (that's not a sidecar file is it?)

Thanks,

Jeff

gcoupe
Posts: 244
Joined: 16 Mar 05 19:29
Location: Heelweg, The Netherlands

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by gcoupe » 15 Dec 12 15:56

As the old saying goes: "the best thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from"...

I think you have to choose your character with an eye to what other tools you use with your images. Not all tools have the flexibility of being able to choose your delimiter, as PSU does. So then that may make your choice for you.

In my case, since other family members use Windows Photo Gallery to browse our image collection, the choice of the "/" character was dictated, since this is what Windows Photo Gallery uses, and it's fixed.

Since I don't use Lightroom, for a variety of reasons, I don't need to think about the "|" character. YMMV.
Geoff Coupe
--------------
Photo Supreme /Windows 10 Pro 64 bits + Windows Home Server 2011 = DAM

Mike Buckley
Posts: 1194
Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Mike Buckley » 15 Dec 12 15:57

I found no recommendation about that at dpBestflow.com. One really important issue is to avoid using a delimiter that might be included in any keyword or category of keywords. As an example, if you use the David Reicks Controlled Vocabulary, which uses the forward slash character in its categories, it's a huge mistake to use that character as the delimiter. (I know because I did exactly that years ago.) In that sense, I think the pipe character might be the safest character to use.

Hert
Posts: 6256
Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Hert » 15 Dec 12 20:21

Don't use delimited keywords is my advise. It's non standard and unsupported by 99 percent of the tools out there. Enable the writing of Lightroom keywords instead.

Hert
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andy@damroundup.com
Posts: 109
Joined: 13 Apr 08 19:54
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by andy@damroundup.com » 16 Dec 12 0:21

I agree ... you will find that most software does not know what to do with delimiters in keywords and just displays huge strings of words. In the end - as Hert suggets, using LR keywords or writing out the structure to another XMP field (I used to use the Supplemental keywords) is a better approach.
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Jeff F
Posts: 22
Joined: 19 May 11 1:43

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Jeff F » 16 Dec 12 13:18

Thank you all for the responses.

I will start by leaving the settings at the default position.

Thanks again,

Jeff

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by tstoddard » 16 Dec 12 17:18

IDimager wrote:Don't use delimited keywords is my advise. It's non standard and unsupported by 99 percent of the tools out there. Enable the writing of Lightroom keywords instead.

Hert
Hert,

I'm still struggling a little over the best combinations of synchronization settings. After experimenting with several different raw converters I have come to agree with your opinion that it is best not to write delimited keywords. I do understand why others might want to do it so I'm not challenging that but I am uncertain about the other settings and which combinations make the most sense.

First, if I write Lightroom keywords, is it necessary or recommended to also enable "Write Catalog label structure to IDimager ICS scheme"?

Secondly, if I write Lightroom keywords and catalog label structure to ICS scheme, which read settings are appropriate? Do I need to enable both Read Lightroom Keywords and Read IDimager ICS scheme? Is one more efficient than the other? If both are enabled does one take precedent over the other or will both be done causing decreased performance?

Thirdly, if I don't write delimited keywords, would you recommend also assigning parent labels in the label settings? It appears that If I want to change that setting, I would have to go through all of my labels one at a time and change it manually. Is there a better way? Can you provide a script? (I still think it would be helpful to be able to select multiple catalog labels)

Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Tom Stoddard

jstartin
Posts: 408
Joined: 23 Aug 06 13:47
Location: UK

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by jstartin » 16 Dec 12 23:25

IDimager wrote:Don't use delimited keywords is my advise. It's non standard and unsupported by 99 percent of the tools out there. Enable the writing of Lightroom keywords instead.
andy@damroundup.com wrote:I agree ... you will find that most software does not know what to do with delimiters in keywords and just displays huge strings of words. In the end - as Hert suggets, using LR keywords or writing out the structure to another XMP field (I used to use the Supplemental keywords) is a better approach.
Two questions then:
If the only reason for writing PSU hierarchical labels out to XMP is to be able to read them back into a new PSU catalog (if all else fails) does the choice of delimited/Lightroom make any difference?
Would it be a good or a bad idea to write both, "just in case"?
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by tstoddard » 17 Dec 12 4:05

jstartin wrote:Two questions then:
If the only reason for writing PSU hierarchical labels out to XMP is to be able to read them back into a new PSU catalog (if all else fails) does the choice of delimited/Lightroom make any difference?
Would it be a good or a bad idea to write both, "just in case"?
I can give you one example of how writing both caused headaches for me. I was using delimited keywords and writing Lightroom keywords "just in case". I started using Aftershot Pro to do some raw conversions. I was creating jpgs from nef files and I had already cataloged the nef files in PSU. I had set my preferences to write delimited keywords using the "/" character as a delimiter and I also enabled writing Lightroom keywords. What happened was that Aftershot read my delimited keywords as one long string, which is what I expected, but, it also read the Lightroom keywords, split them into flat keywords and then added those to the delimited keywords so that the jpgs that it created ended up with both delimited and flat keywords.

For example: If I had the keyword Animal/Fish/Shark in my nef file, I would end up with a jpg that had Animal/Fish/Shark, Animal, Fish, Shark. You can imagine that this could get pretty ugly if I had three or four different delimited keywords assigned to one file. It took me quite a while to figure out why this was happening. At first I thought it was because I confused Aftershot with the "/" delimiter. In the end, it turned out to be the fact that I used both Lightroom keywords and delimited keywords that caused the problem.
Tom Stoddard

gcoupe
Posts: 244
Joined: 16 Mar 05 19:29
Location: Heelweg, The Netherlands

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by gcoupe » 17 Dec 12 7:42

Tom, I think you'll find that Lightroom also writes both delimited and flat keywords, so this behavior is not just Aftershot alone. I don't use Aftershot, but I found the same thing happening when I trialled Lightroom. It was one of the reasons why I don't use it.

Now, the interesting thing is that this behavior of flattening hierarchies is required in the Guidance on Metadata issued by the Metadata Working Group. Frankly, I find it a very dubious requirement, and I have the strong suspicion that it's in there simply because Adobe, as one of the founding members of the MWG, got it put in to reflect the working of Lightroom. But perhaps I'm just being paranoiac...
Geoff Coupe
--------------
Photo Supreme /Windows 10 Pro 64 bits + Windows Home Server 2011 = DAM

Mike Buckley
Posts: 1194
Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Mike Buckley » 17 Dec 12 13:10

dPBestflow.org provides a very helpful discussion of using keywords at http://www.dpbestflow.org/metadata/keywording . It is written by Peter Krogh, author of The DAM Book.The summary of the information pertaining to the use of hierarchical key words is as follows:

Be as consistent as you can with hierarchies within your own collection.
The hierarchy will probably not translate directly from your collection to anyone else’s.
You may need to migrate the data structure to another tool eventually.
When in doubt, the flat keyword list is the most universal.

Personally, I don't think it's reasonable to recommend the use of flat keywords, hierarchical keywords or both without knowing how a particular person is going to use the metadata. Doing so is like a doctor prescribing medicine without knowing what ails the patient. This becomes clear when reading the information at dPBestflow.

I embed the hierarchical keywords in my files because doing so fits my needs. My primary need is that I can use them to easily recreate my catalog when all else fails. (I have seen enough reports here in the forum of people successfully doing that because everything else that could fail did fail.) I don't plan for the keywords to be used by anyone other than me. If some day I do need to migrate to another tool, I can either select a tool that reads hierarchical keywords or I can embed flat keywords in my files before migrating. On a related issue, I use the David Reicks Controlled Vocabulary, which is available at no extra cost for use with a significant number of tools.

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by tstoddard » 17 Dec 12 13:50

If I want to change from using delimited keywords to simple keywords I can easily change my preferences and then select all and write metadata to all files and the changes will be done across my entire catalog. Once I've done that then I'm confronted with another issue. When I was using delimited keywords I saw no reason to assign parent labels, since the parent labels were included in the delimited strings. Now that I've decided against using delimited keywords, I now have to decide whether or not I should assign parent labels so that the parent labels will be included in the keywords that are written to the files. If I decide to go this route I will need to change the configuration of all of my labels. In PSU this can only be done one label at a time.

First, can anyone give me any good reasons to not assign parent labels before I spend the time changing all of my label's configuration settings.

Second, if I do want to change the "also assign its parents" setting in all of my labels, can anyone offer a script that would automate that task?
Tom Stoddard

Hert
Posts: 6256
Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Hert » 17 Dec 12 15:03

My primary need is that I can use them to easily recreate my catalog when all else fails.
When using Lightroom keywords, the hierarchical information is already written to the standard field for that purpose. Flat keywords are stored in a different section of the metadata. How Supreme (or IDI for that matter) handles this is a follows:

1. Are there Lightroom keywords?
Yes -> Process Lightroom keywords (create hierarchy if it doesn't exist yet, then assign the catalog label to the image being processed). Goto 2.
No -> Goto 2.

2. Are there Flat keywords?
Yes -> For each flat keyword, check if it matches a LR keyword, and if so then ignore it (already handled in 1). Create labels for the remaining ones in the dedicated category for this, and assign to the image
No -> End.

As you can see, you don't need "delimited" keywords. There's no additional value over using LR keywords from the application's point of view. Delimited keywords in PSU/IDI date from the time *before* the Lightroom keywords were invented by Peter Krogh (together with Adobe). Evolution has made the use of delimited keywords a "bad choice". Also keep in mind that, by specifications, Keywords (dc:subject) are *supposed* to be flat. So using intelligence like delimiters inside the content is asking for problems now or in the future. Always better to use data how it's intended to be used and not add intelligence that is proprietary.
If I want to change from using delimited keywords to simple keywords I can easily change my preferences and then select all and write metadata to all files and the changes will be done across my entire catalog.
Correct.
Once I've done that then I'm confronted with another issue. When I was using delimited keywords I saw no reason to assign parent labels, since the parent labels were included in the delimited strings. Now that I've decided against using delimited keywords, I now have to decide whether or not I should assign parent labels so that the parent labels will be included in the keywords that are written to the files. If I decide to go this route I will need to change the configuration of all of my labels. In PSU this can only be done one label at a time.
The parent labels are written to the LR keywords, so they are in your metadata, just like when using delimited keywords.
First, can anyone give me any good reasons to not assign parent labels before I spend the time changing all of my label's configuration settings.
Because it's already written. Use the "Assign Parent Labels" if you want separate entries for each hierarchy in your keywords (LR and Flat). E.g.

Countries -> Europe -> Belgium

if Belgium has parent label assigns ON then you'll get flat keywords:
Belgium
Europe
Countries

And Hierarchical Keywords:
Countries/Europe/Belgium
Countries/Europe
Countries

If Belgium does NOT have parent label assign ON then you'll get flat keywords:
Belgium

And Hierarchical Keywords:
Countries/Europe/Belgium

My vote would go to the latter.


Hert
This is a User-to-User forum which means that users post questions here for other users.
Feature requests, change suggestions, or bugs can be logged in the ticketing system

gcoupe
Posts: 244
Joined: 16 Mar 05 19:29
Location: Heelweg, The Netherlands

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by gcoupe » 17 Dec 12 15:42

Just one addition to Hert's comprehensive reply: The LR method of storing hierarchy using XMP is a de facto standard. There is no de jure standard at present. The closest we've got to that is the standard proposed by the Metadata Working Group. However, as far as I know, there's no product available on the market that implements it...

I also agree with Hert that using delimiter characters (/ | .) in keyword strings is a non-preferred way of shoehorning in hierarchy information into something never designed for it. But sometimes it can be good enough for certain combinations of tools (e.g. PSU and Windows Photo Gallery).
Geoff Coupe
--------------
Photo Supreme /Windows 10 Pro 64 bits + Windows Home Server 2011 = DAM

Jeff F
Posts: 22
Joined: 19 May 11 1:43

Re: Delimiter choice

Post by Jeff F » 17 Dec 12 16:02

Please forgive me for being slow on this but...

I currently have no keywords and am building a new catalog from scratch.

Will using Photo Supreme's default settings give me the option to use my Catalog Label structure as hierarchical keywords?

If so, can I then save them in 'Lightroom format' so that there will be a hierarchical structure saved somewhere in the metadata that can be found by software that knows where to look?

Thanks,

Jeff

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