Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous labels

vlad
Posts: 895
Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous labels

Post by vlad » 06 Feb 15 11:41

I would like to better understand the functionality of labels automatically created and assigned in the Miscellaneous category.

I have already known that PSU automatically creates and assigns such labels upon importing or reading images with keywords without corresponding labels. What I have recently discovered - and has surprised me - is that PSU would also create such labels if I manually added or edited image keywords using the Details panel. For example, if I add the Test keyword to an image, PSU automatically creates and assigns a Test label within the Miscellaneous category (unless such a label was already there, in which case it simply assigns it).

Initially, I thought that Photo Supreme was discerning (and hence smart) in its implementation, as I had my keyword write settings configured to "Replace keywords with Catalog labels". (That effectively means that the Test keyword *must* have a corresponding label - or it will be erased at sync time, rendering my keyword addition effectively useless.) But, then, I was confused (and mostly disappointed) to realize that changing my write settings did not make any difference: Photo Supreme still insisted to have a Miscellenous label automatically created and/or assigned for any manually created (or edited) keyword, even if I specified "Merge keywords with Catalog labels" or "Do not modify keywords". (IMHO, this violates the intention of both these options: to allow keywords without labels, as well as the opposite.)

Bottom line, the manual addition of keywords appears to always drive up the creation and/or assignment of Miscellaneous labels. I am officially confused by this and I have a number of questions:

1) Is the described behavior intentional?
2) Is it meaningful? If so, then what needs or principles does it serve? If not, then what would be the sensible changes?
3) Is there currently any way to add or edit a metadata keyword without creating a corresponding label (just as the opposite is possible)?
4) The Details panel also allows the editing of hierarchical keywords - but that does *not* reflect in new labels being created or assigned. Is this by design? Is this desired? Should the regular vs. hierarchical keyword editing policies line up?

I would be grateful for any feedback, even if I will likely have to follow up with one or more Mantis tickets.

Thanks,
Vlad

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

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mike Buckley » 06 Feb 15 11:58

vlad wrote:if I add the Test keyword to an image, PSU automatically creates and assigns a Test label within the Miscellaneous category
That's not true on my system if I also configure the parent of the newly created catalog label. If you don't want the new catalog label to be automatically positioned as a child label of "Miscellaneous," you must configure the parent to be whatever you want it to be. All of that is as I would expect and want.

EDIT: Now that I think more about it, I don't think it's possible to create a new catalog label at least using the Assign panel without configuring its parent so long as you have already created at least one other catalog label. That's because the panel automatically configures the previously configured parent unless you change to a different parent, which is also how I want the behavior to be. So, my guess is that I'm not understanding your process when you "manually add" a new catalog label.

vlad
Posts: 895
Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by vlad » 06 Feb 15 12:08

Mike, I don't understand:

1) What do you mean by configuring the parent of the newly created catalog label?
2) How do I avoid the creation of a new label in the first place?
So, my guess is that I'm not understanding your process when you "manually add" a new catalog label.
I'm not using the Assign panel (that's for directly assigning labels, not keywords), but the Details panel. That allows me to directly edit the Keywords field under the Description tab.
Last edited by vlad on 06 Feb 15 12:12, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Buckley
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mike Buckley » 06 Feb 15 12:11

vlad wrote:1) What do you mean by configuring the parent of the newly created catalog label?
In the Catalog Label dialog, the "Parent" parameter exists. The user must accept the parent automatically configured or change it.
2) How do I avoid the creation of a new label in the first place?
Now it's my turn not to understand you. Why would you be manually adding a new label that you don't want to be created?

Mike Buckley
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mike Buckley » 06 Feb 15 12:13

You might not have seen the Edit that I added to my first post. If not, hopefully that edit is helpful.

Mike Buckley
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Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mike Buckley » 06 Feb 15 12:36

Sorry, Vlad. I missed that you're referring only to adding keywords using the Details panel. When you do that, I would expect the newly added keyword to be added as a catalog label if Auto Synch is enabled or if you manually synch. That also assumes of course that the newly created keyword doesn't already exist in your hierarchy of catalog labels and that the pertinent Read setting is configured.

Even so, I never use the Details panel to add keywords and I always use the Assign panel to create new catalog labels. That being the case, I may not be knowledgeable enough of the various options to be helpful in this discussion and should probably bow out.

vlad
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by vlad » 06 Feb 15 18:10

Mike Buckley wrote:Sorry, Vlad. I missed that you're referring only to adding keywords using the Details panel. When you do that, I would expect the newly added keyword to be added as a catalog label if Auto Synch is enabled or if you manually synch.
I have Auto Synch turned off and I can tell you that the new catalog label inside Miscellaneous is created and assigned right away (when pressing Ok in the Details panel), not when synching.
That also assumes of course that the newly created keyword doesn't already exist in your hierarchy of catalog labels and that the pertinent Read setting is configured.
What I am seeing is that a new label is created in the Miscellaneous category and then assigned even when a label with a matching name already exists (inside some other category). (If PSU insists on the keyword-label matching, I think the use of a label inside Miscellaneous category somehow makes sense, since there could be multiple labels with the same name in the catalog - how could PSU know which one to assign? OTOH, if there is only one existing label, perhaps that should be used rather than a Miscelaneous one. The current policy seems overly aggressive and I wonder if it might be responsible for the label duplication and mess that a couple of users reported when migrating from other programs to Photo Supreme.)

Regarding the Read settings: I haven't tested those, but why should they matter at all for what happens when PSU is *writing* metadata (to the catalog - not even to the physical file)?
Even so, I never use the Details panel to add keywords and I always use the Assign panel to create new catalog labels.
I reckon that may be a non-standard use of the Details panel and the keywords, but the editing of keywords *is* supported there (unlike the editing of certain fields, which is disabled), therefore it needs to be predictable (understandable). I am not planning by any means to rely on that interface for adding or changing keywords in general (I was simply experimenting with keywords for the purpose of custom scripts), but I would still like to understand what its functionality and fair use are.
That being the case, I may not be knowledgeable enough of the various options to be helpful in this discussion and should probably bow out.
Until we're getting (presumably from Hert) some hard info to clear up the matter, I think that our own intuitions and expectations are fair game for discussion. Thanks for your thoughts, Mike!

vlad
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by vlad » 06 Feb 15 21:09

vlad wrote:
Mike Buckley wrote:Sorry, Vlad. I missed that you're referring only to adding keywords using the Details panel. When you do that, I would expect the newly added keyword to be added as a catalog label if Auto Synch is enabled or if you manually synch. That also assumes of course that the newly created keyword doesn't already exist in your hierarchy of catalog labels and that the pertinent Read setting is configured.
Regarding the Read settings: I haven't tested those, but why should they matter at all for what happens when PSU is *writing* metadata (to the catalog - not even to the physical file)?
Well, it turns out that Mike was (partly) right: the Read settings are indeed significant! If I change "Merge keywords with existing Catalog labels" to "Do not convert keywords to Catalog labels", then no label inside Miscellaneous category is created or assigned upon adding a new keyword in the Details panel. What gives? I am attempting to connect the dots and make sense of all the empirically gathered info, as follows:

The Details panel could be regarded as the user-visible interface for metadata between the Photo Supreme catalog, proper, and the outside world (the phyiscal file system). If someone makes a catalog change (outside the Details panel), that gets propagated and written to the Details panel according to the Write preferences. If someone makes a metadata change inside the Details panel, that gets read out from the Details panel and propagated into the catalog, proper, according to the Read preferences.

Upon a sync-read (Ctrl+Alt+S), the metadata is (re)read from the phsyical file into the Details panel and then further propagated into the catalog (if needed). Upon a write-sync (Ctrl+S), all relevant catalog changes are propagated to the metadata displayed in the Details panel and then further written out to the physical image (or sidecar).

Schematically, here is the information flow overview for a Save Metadata operation (1) and, respectively, an Import or a Read operation (2):

(1) Catalog changes -> (write settings) -> Metadata changes in the Details panel -> Metadatada changes in the physical file
(2) Metadatada changes in the physical file -> Metadata changes in the Details panel ->
(read settings) -> Catalog changes


According to this schema, the catalog changes get fully reflected into the Details panel only upon a write-sync operation (which is transparent in case of the Auto-(Write-)Synch), at which point they also make it to the physical file. Conversely, a Read-sync operation updates the metadata in the Details panel (based on the physical file metadata) and then propagates to the catalog proper (if needed).

When someone makes and saves metadata changes directly in the Details panel ("the middleman"), then those will (typically) need to get propagated both ways:
1) To the catalog proper (labels etc.) - this happens right away, according to the Read preferences.
2) To the phyisical file metadata - this happens only upon a write-sync operation, according to the Write preferences.

This asymmetry may not apparently be intuitive, but it is naturally reflected in only a one-way Auto-Synch setting being exposed to the user - and in it being properly called: "Automatically write out Catalog changes to the image file". Please note that, if enabled, the metadata changes in the Details panel correctly propagate both ways, right away (upon pressing the Ok button in the Details panel).

I may be wrong, but I feel like I have made key progress in my understanding of the PSU data model (especially w.r.t. what and why the Read and the Write settings affect). Does my analysis make sense? (Hopefully, it's neither too flawed nor too obscure or too trivial to have wasted someone else's time.)

tstoddard
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Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by tstoddard » 06 Feb 15 22:46

vlad,

If I understand you correctly then what you are saying is that when data is added or modified directly in the details panel that a read occurs, which invokes the use of the global read settings, and then, if auto syncing is enabled, a write is performed invoking the use of the global write settings. I had never really given it any thought. I would not have thought that changing something in the details panel would result in a "read" operation but it does make sense now that you mention it. I would have thought of it more as a "write" operation where data from the details panel is "written" to the catalog. This certainly would explain why labels would get created in your catalog when you add new keywords directly into the details panel. Also, since there wouldn't be any hierarchical information for PSU to use then it is forced to put them in the Miscellaneous category.

This is interesting and good to know for those infrequent occasions when I might use the details panel to modify metadata.
Tom Stoddard

Mike Buckley
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Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mike Buckley » 06 Feb 15 23:28

vlad wrote:This asymmetry may not apparently be intuitive
I would just like to go on record that it's completely intuitive to me and is exactly what I would expect and would want to happen. Most important, following the logic that almost nothing that is intuitive to everyone else is intuitive to me, it would be perfectly understandable if these details that are intuitive to me are not intuitive to anyone else. :mrgreen:

vlad
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Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by vlad » 07 Feb 15 0:26

Hi Tom,
If I understand you correctly then what you are saying is that when data is added or modified directly in the details panel that a read occurs, which invokes the use of the global read settings, and then, if auto syncing is enabled, a write is performed invoking the use of the global write settings.
Indeed, that's a very good summary. Keep in mind, though, that this is for now inferred, patchy and possibly flawed understanding from my part rather than first hand, solid knowledge. Any confirmation or correction from Hert is obviously most welcome.
I had never really given it any thought.
Neither had I (until today).
I would not have thought that changing something in the details panel would result in a "read" operation but it does make sense now that you mention it. I would have thought of it more as a "write" operation where data from the details panel is "written" to the catalog.
Yep, that had been my own mindset (intuition) too and I have started reconsidering it only following empirical observations (as well as helpful hints from Mike).
This certainly would explain why labels would get created in your catalog when you add new keywords directly into the details panel. Also, since there wouldn't be any hierarchical information for PSU to use then it is forced to put them in the Miscellaneous category.
Yes, indeed.
Mike Buckley wrote:
vlad wrote:This asymmetry may not apparently be intuitive
I would just like to go on record that it's completely intuitive to me and is exactly what I would expect and would want to happen. Most important, following the logic that almost nothing that is intuitive to everyone else is intuitive to me, it would be perfectly understandable if these details that are intuitive to me are not intuitive to anyone else. :mrgreen:
Mike, I can't speak for others but I'm afraid my own intuition has played tricks on me this time. (In my view, Photo Supreme may not be the most intuitive software out there, but it may actually be amongst the most logical ones. ...It's just that its logic is pretty well hidden. :))

chuckhebert40
Posts: 46
Joined: 28 May 12 18:21

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by chuckhebert40 » 05 Mar 15 12:55

Hi Vlad,

I've been looking further into label / metadata issues, and having come across this thread I thought I should at least look at the Details Panel (which I've not done before now). Could you please explain exactly what you did to
add the Test keyword to an image
I have not been able to add, change or delete a keyword in the Details Panel.

I've come across several things worthy of comment, but I'm concerned that I'm missing something fundamental which might change some of my observations.

Thanks
Charles Hebert

Mke
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by Mke » 05 Mar 15 14:11

chuckhebert40 wrote:
Could you please explain exactly what you did to
add the Test keyword to an image
I have not been able to add, change or delete a keyword in the Details Panel.

Thanks
I'm not Vlad, but in the details panel, descriptions section, there is field named 'keywords'. If you click on the on-screen + symbol you can type in a keyword. Hover over a keyword and a x symbol appears to allow you to remove it.

-- edit --
Well, that's what's supposed to happen. Looks like deletion isn't working! Mantis report 2822 filed.

chuckhebert40
Posts: 46
Joined: 28 May 12 18:21

Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by chuckhebert40 » 05 Mar 15 15:05

Thanks Mke

I had also failed to delete anything using the X symbol. But I've also not being able to add any keywords - you can indeed type in a keyword as you suggest, but if you click on the OK button it disappears (confirmed if you leave that image and come back to it). This is true whether you're entering the first keyword or adding to an existing list.

So, my question to Vlad still stands - how did he do it?
Charles Hebert

vlad
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Re: Automatic creation and assignment of Miscellaneous label

Post by vlad » 06 Mar 15 10:14

Hi Charles,

I'm travelling and can't play with Photo Supreme for the next 10 days, but I was adding keywords using the Details panel exactly like Mke explained. If the keywords aren't sticking for you, I'm wondering if it might be because your Read or Write settings? (See my previous long post on the label-keyword interaction via the Details panel.) Do you have your metadata settings configured to replace keywords with labels (rather than merge with them)? Could you attach screenshots of your Read + Write settings? I would be very interested if your particular scenario confirms or contradicts my previous findings + inferences on how syncing might work in conjunction with metadata editing via the Details panel.

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