I have seen from several contributions across this forum that PSu Users either rarely use versions or are dissatisfied/confused how they work. There is also an extensive discussion about a feature request in Mantis (http://mantis.idimager.com/view.php?id=2525).
I am one of the (few?) people that like the idea of using versions a lot and try to do so, but find the way they are handled fairly counter intuitive.
The discussion in Mantis suggests that versions have three purposes:
To me a rather important aspect, why I bother with versions is missing:
1) to collate together all versions of the image to easily recognize them as being versions
2) to process all versions as one, when appropriate (labelling, geo-tagging etc.) [the appropriateness being subject to other discussions
3) to decrease the number of duplicated images shown on screen, in some circumstances [circumstances under discussion]
4) to use a particular version for a particular purpose
- - I would like to be able to quickly open a particular version in DxO or Lightroom. Both programs work well with DNGs, so ideally it should be possible to configure PSu to open the DNG files when I call these applications from within PSu. PhaseOne's Capture One, however, work better with original raw files (NEF, CR2). So, ideally these files should be selected when opening C1 from PSu. Currently I have to manually select the version that I want to open in an external application.
- I would like to quickly print a contact sheet and have PSu select the print version (that actually now works again in build 2075)...
Emailing an image from PSu the email version would be used...
PSu's Preferences allow to specify file naming masks for a particular version (Preferences - Catalog - Versioning - Place Holder - Match as).
It would be fantastic if a specific default program [external, e.g. Lightroom, DxO etc.] could be configured here as well as an internal program option (e.g., use this version for printing, use this version for emailing, etc.)
Related to this suggestion is the discussion about how versions should best be displayed.
The discussion in Mantis (mantis.idimager.com/view.php?id=2525) as well as many posts on this forum illustrate that users are confused and often frustrated that different parts of PSU display either the whole set of versions or only the main one.
From a programmer's view the logic behind this is obvious:
(1) For a particular purpose (see the list above, e.g. labelling, geo-panel, etc.) it is not necessary to display versions separately. A label applies to all versions in a set, if one version was geo-tagged, those coordinates apply to all the derivatives as well. [However, there are borderline cases: area-tags. A version that is a crop of the original may not have the face of a person that was included in the original file. Some people may prefer to assign different star ratings or different color labels to their versions...]
(2) For most other purposes it appears more logical to have all the versions displayed. E.g. in folder view having only the main version displayed would look odd, because the other files are not missing, but are nevertheless hidden. For a particular date it also may not seem reasonable to hide versions, etc. etc.
Now, though I understand the logic being this, I think it is still flawed.
I very often start labeling my images in folder view. It makes sense. I don't need to have the catalog category tree open for labeling. The Label Panel is much more convenient and I successively import files into folders names according to the date, when the pictures were taken. Then I start labeling folder per folder. This means - for the labelling I actually now hide the subversions, filter out the main versions only.
In many other views I often also hide all but the main version. For example, when I work on labeling all photos from a particular date no matter in which particular folder they might be (Catalog - By Date).
In some instances ONLY one version is displayed and this can be quite a nuisance: For example, portfolios only show a particular version. But perhaps one time I would like to work on the files in a portfolio using an external editor and then, once edited, I would like to email or print the results or transfer them to a different folder. Now, to get the particular version that I want, I need to do some fancy searching of the portfolio...
I am not saying my workflow is like one of anyone else. I have read the discussion in Mantis (and many more) about versions and it seems everyone would like this to work slightly different.
But here are some very simple suggestions, that may address everyone's need:
(1) Default: show all versions everywhere
(2) Update the filter bar to permit filtering out a particular version quickly (ideally that filter should be "sticky" for a particular view)
(3) Permit setting up version-specific applications, i.e., versions can not only be assigned to one particular placeholder, but PSu can be configured to use that version for a specific action (external program and/or internally).
The obvious advantage of this suggestion: it is fully configurable according to anyone's need.
- - If someone wants only a particular version to be displayed, that is possible (of course, where that version does not exist, the main version gets displayed! also a quick way if for a version set all versions actually exist...).
- If someone wants to use a particular version for a particular purpose, that is possible too - either, because it can be configured globally in Preferences, or by very quickly displaying/filtering out only the versions needed.
- Finally it would also be a fairly simple and elegant solution, a much less confusion way to set up versioning. Per default one would see all versions everywhere. Then it would be possible for a particular view to hide/show versions quickly and keep that setting enabled until changed again.
So, I though I start this anew here. I hope nobody will be annoyed about this.