Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

freudenthaler
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Joined: 07 Aug 12 20:57
Location: Austria

Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by freudenthaler » 12 Nov 14 16:37

Well, I really like collections, they offer an easy solution to have several different ways of structuring one’s photo treasure and allow you to look at your photos in many different ways - independent of the actual physical storage situation.

The same is true with dynamic search and the possibility of storing them as favorites – a real time-saver in performing often used queries. So I have defined myself a couple of favorite queries.
What could be improved is the visual area provided by PSu for the storing the favorites. Currently the area is far too small, forcing me often to scroll to find one of my favorite queries.
(1) So it would be nice being able to see all my favorites at a glance.

When I have a look at my collections, most of them could be easily populated by a stored dynamic search – so I’m asking myself, why it is not possible to tell a collection (inside a portfolio) that it’s based on a dynamic search.
This would allow me to keep my collections automatically up-to-date, instead of having to copy pictures manually (via the image basket) to the collection.

So to sum up this little introduction, PSu offers to different types of collections – a dynamic one and a static one – both visually anchored at two different places. Why? The “mental model” behind could be the same.

I see several advantages for named and visually anchored dynamic collection inside my existing portfolios:
- Ease of use: dynamic and static collection complement each other
- I wouldn’t have to update my collection on a regular basis manually; they would be up-to-date when I open one of them
- it could reduce most of my stored favorites if I could define the search/populate criteria with the collection
- not having to navigate to two different places in the UI for performing the same task (just opening a collection)

(2) Please tell me, if anybody else is interested in having dynamic collections inside the portfolio structure being filled by (stored) dynamic queries?
If so, I will log a feature request in mantis.

Update 2014-11-16: feature wish added in mantis
Last edited by freudenthaler on 16 Nov 14 22:07, edited 2 times in total.
Robert | glass stories | Fuji X | LR Classic CC | C1 | PSU 4+5 | Win 10/64 on i9-9940X |

vlad
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Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by vlad » 13 Nov 14 1:12

Please let me be the first one (but I really hope not the only one) to say this is a GREAT idea. I'm lovin' it!

Seriously: I would use this feature right away, since I already have portfolios with content derived from queries and filtered collections. Indeed, any portfolio or portfolio collection could contain two kinds of collections: static (based on a specific selection of images, just as today) or dynamic (as described by freudenthaler). Dynamic collections could be defined by drag and dropping the active tab or a favorite collection (rather than a thumb selection) over a portfolio or a portfolio collection. I'm not even sure the Favorites area would still be needed - even if it's going to be maintained for convenience and familiarity reasons, it could still be implemented as a special, predefined portfolio.

One aspect that may be important is the handling of dependencies between various catalog structures and the criteria underlying the dynamic collections. I've experimented a bit with the collections inside favorites + dynamic search and realized the (arbitrarily complex) dependencies between these collections and the underlying catalog structures are not always taken into account, specifically when deleting or removing a catalog label, portfolio etc. - see ticket 2626 for more details. This may not be such a big problem today, but the dependency handling becomes important with dynamic collections, since I wouldn't like to silently get any dangling (useless) collections amongst my long-term portfolio. Still, even a rough implementation with imperfect depenency handling (similar to how Favorites are implemented today) would be great as a first cut.

Please log a feature request in Mantis (perhaps copying to it your description above) and I'll be sure to add my comments, along with my enthusiastic vote. I really hope this proposal gets support from Hert and other users - I can't wait to see it implemented.

Mke
Posts: 511
Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by Mke » 13 Nov 14 2:21

Yes, that would be an interesting rationalisation. Similar to how you can have both 'Playlists' and 'Smart Playlists' in iTunes, for example. "Smart Collections" perhaps?

At it's simplest, I guess you could use the dynamic search panel to construct the query, but then could have an option on the dynamic search menu to 'store to Smart Collection', instead of 'Save to favorites'.

HaraldE
Posts: 254
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Location: Bålsta, Sweden

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by HaraldE » 13 Nov 14 2:24

Morning,

My world is filled with lots of collections and I have no dynamic search defined at all. This may not be the best way of working but it keeps me on top of all the images I have and I do not want that to change.

So my comment is this ... feel free to suggest whatever changes you like as long as the current behaviour of collections do not change, thanks.

Regards, Harald

vlad
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Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by vlad » 13 Nov 14 10:56

Hi Harald,

I understand that you don't use dynamic search - but do you have and use any item in Favorites? If yes, then imagine each favorite as a smart collection (I like the term) that could be stored inside a portfolio. I don't think anyone is suggesting to drop existing functionality (in particular, the current behaviour of collections). The request is to enhance portfolios with a more flexible kind of collections (which already are part and parcel of PSU - it's just that they can't be currently stored inside portfolios). You wouldn't have to worry about this portfolio enhancement unless you have a use for it. For other users, it could be very valuable.

Regards, Vlad

peter wijn
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Joined: 24 Oct 11 19:55

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by peter wijn » 13 Nov 14 12:47

This is very much like the thing Lightroom DAM offers, I think to remember, not?

freudenthaler
Posts: 91
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Location: Austria

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by freudenthaler » 13 Nov 14 13:37

peter wijn wrote:This is very much like the thing Lightroom DAM offers, I think to remember, not?
Right Peter, although PSu could do it in a very much more sophisticated way (with all the mighty search capabilities it offers).

I don't want to hop on the "if LR has it, PSu also needs it"-train. It's just that dynamic collections could add so much efficiency to my personal worflow with so litte internal effort in PSu (at least that's what I assume :) because the functionality is already in PSu included).
Robert | glass stories | Fuji X | LR Classic CC | C1 | PSU 4+5 | Win 10/64 on i9-9940X |

freudenthaler
Posts: 91
Joined: 07 Aug 12 20:57
Location: Austria

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by freudenthaler » 13 Nov 14 15:10

Mke wrote:"Smart Collections" perhaps?
I like the term "Smart Collection".
Mke wrote:At it's simplest, I guess you could use the dynamic search panel to construct the query, but then could have an option on the dynamic search menu to 'store to Smart Collection', instead of 'Save to favorites'.
Rather than having to decide, wether to store a dynamic query to favorites or to a smart collection, I would like to be able to set a "source" for a collection. A simple dropdown list - containing all stored dynamic queries to choose from - would be sufficient. An icon could indicate, that it's a smart collection :). If the source property isn't set, it's a static collection and behaves like collections do up to now.
Robert | glass stories | Fuji X | LR Classic CC | C1 | PSU 4+5 | Win 10/64 on i9-9940X |

vlad
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Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by vlad » 13 Nov 14 15:51

I'm not sure what 'source(s)' you have in mind. Are you suggesting that PSU should remember the history of dynamic searches or did I misunderstand? (Please also note that the current description of complex queries may not be the most informative - so there must be a way of storing directly the current collection displayed in the active tab, IMHO.)

freudenthaler
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Location: Austria

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by freudenthaler » 13 Nov 14 17:07

vlad wrote:I'm not sure what 'source(s)' you have in mind.
source = all stored dynamic searches (favorites), no history is needed
vlad wrote:(Please also note that the current description of complex queries may not be the most informative - so there must be a way of storing directly the current collection displayed in the active tab, IMHO.)
Well I dont't mind about PSu's inital syntax / description of the queries, I do rename a query immedeatly (eg. "London 4+5 Stars & Green")
Robert | glass stories | Fuji X | LR Classic CC | C1 | PSU 4+5 | Win 10/64 on i9-9940X |

vlad
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Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by vlad » 13 Nov 14 18:56

Thanks for pointing out the renaming of favorite queries, this is indeed very useful. (The renaming is not possible in the Dynamic Search area, but I don't think it's needed there either, since the DSA items have a different purpose and are not persistent anyway.)

This means that all we need is the possibility to store such queries as smart collections (along with regular collections) within hierarchical portfolios. I'm optimistic as well that it could be implemented without major effort or interface changes.

tstoddard
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Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by tstoddard » 13 Nov 14 20:32

vlad,

You seem to be ignoring the fact that there is some functionality that is unique to portfolio collections. If all you want is a hierarchical list of favorites, then why not just add a hierarchical list of favorites to the explorer, "Catalog by Favorites". Why does it need to be integrated into portfolios? I suppose it is just a matter of preference and convenience to those who spend a lot of time in portfolios.

On the other hand, if you want these "smart collections" to be a type of portfolio collection, then there probably would be some significant "effort" involved in implementing them. Portfolio collections allow us to manually arrange the files inside them. We can organize them in any arbitrary order and the system will retain that order between sessions. We can also select which version we want to have selected in any version set that is included in a portfolio collection. Collections generated by a query saved as a favorite do not allow us to do this.

I'm not sure how the portfolio collection functionality behaves when new items are added to portfolio collections that have been manually reordered but I will test it when I get some time. I'm imagining that if Hert were to implement smart collections as a type of portfolio collection (to include the same functionality of "static" collections) that the smart collections would really be "static" collections with the added capability of automatically adding new files (or in some cases removing files) whenever they are opened based on the query or saved search upon which the collection is based.

The ability to arbitrarily arrange files inside a collection is a great feature and one that was added during the evolution of PSU V2 after much prompting from the user community. Whether or not it makes sense to try to incorporate that functionality into these "smart collections" I can't say. I kind of like the idea of just adding additional functionality to portfolio collections in which a collection can be "based" on a favorite. The behavior of the collection doesn't need to be any different than a static collection but it just adds and removes files automatically instead of the user doing it explicitly.
Tom Stoddard

freudenthaler
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Location: Austria

Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by freudenthaler » 13 Nov 14 22:33

tstoddard wrote: Why does it need to be integrated into portfolios? I suppose it is just a matter of preference and convenience to those who spend a lot of time in portfolios.
Tom, as the one who started the thread let me answer your question: Yes, it's more than pure convenience - I would like to call it rather "for ergonomic reasons", since the favorite space is too small, forces me to scroll and I can't influence the order of my stored queries - all things collections inside portfolios allow me to do.
And, as I mentioned earlier, dynamic queriesresult in collections, and collections should have the possibility to be grouped / stored inside the portfolios.
tstoddard wrote: Portfolio collections allow us to manually arrange the files inside them. We can organize them in any arbitrary order and the system will retain that order between sessions. We can also select which version we want to have selected in any version set that is included in a portfolio collection.
Well I wasn't aware of this feature. It makes sense to me and I can imagine some scenarios, where this functionality really could be useful.
But smart collections wouldn't have to alter this behaviour necessarily - it just adds complexity. On the other hand I am not requesting to keep this behaviour since (my) smart collections implicitly rely on a certain sorting order, eg. date or stars or exif-data.

tstoddard wrote: I kind of like the idea of just adding additional functionality to portfolio collections in which a collection can be "based" on a favorite. The behavior of the collection doesn't need to be any different than a static collection but it just adds and removes files automatically instead of the user doing it explicitly.
No contradiction to my ideas.. :D
Robert | glass stories | Fuji X | LR Classic CC | C1 | PSU 4+5 | Win 10/64 on i9-9940X |

tstoddard
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Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by tstoddard » 13 Nov 14 23:16

On the other hand I am not requesting to keep this behaviour since (my) smart collections implicitly rely on a certain sorting order, eg. date or stars or exif-data.
Implicitly? Is the sort order of a collection saved with that collection in Favorites? I rarely use favorites so I never really paid attention to that. I thought that when I open a collection, it is sorted based on whatever sort criteria is currently set in the collection viewer.

I need to do some experimenting, especially now that tabs are in the picture.
Tom Stoddard

HaraldE
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Re: Wish: Dynamic Search + Collections = Dynamic Collections

Post by HaraldE » 14 Nov 14 1:11

vlad wrote: I understand that you don't use dynamic search - but do you have and use any item in Favorites?
Hello Vlad, PSU is one of my two most valuable photo tools, something I can not live without. It is being used daily as long as I get a free moment. However, my usage is probably quite basic. For exaple I never use Versions, don't need them, they are actually giving me some extra unwanted small work. But the overall opinion / feeling / gratitude towards this thing we call PSU is very very positive.

Now being as basic as I am there are moments when I feel a bit concerned when I see new and (maybe) advanced facilities being suggested. I am probably also a bit egoistic since I don't want to rock the boat that I sit happy within. In addition to this I could think of other new facilities that would make me more happy than what is being discussed here.

I know this may sound a bit negative but this is very much not my intention. Seeing what came out with PSU V3 I am confident that Hert can implement things in a way that existing ways still will work. And, when the day breakes and we have new facilities, I will be more than happy to try them out.

To answer your question about favourites, I do have 4 direct links to folders and also one (which Hert once gave us) that will filter out thumbs with Recipes inside. Not sure if this qualifies to a Yes or No to your question, though.

Best regards, Harald

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