Use a custom input field to control which version to display

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David Grundy
Posts: 241
Joined: 13 May 07 16:40
Location: Hong Kong

Use a custom input field to control which version to display

Post by David Grundy » 08 Jul 13 16:40

(File under "suggestions". But I'll wait for feedback from others before adding to the hints thread.)

The idea is: every file which you want to see as a display version gets a "Y" in a custom input field. Then you can search or filter on the "Y".
This seems to work. But ... No guarantees, etc etc

Here's how:

Step 1. Create the custom input field

First create a custom input field called QV4Ddisplay.
(My intended meaning for this name: Version for Display is abbreviated V4Display. The Q on the front tell me this is a field containing a flag.)

The interesting thing about custom input fields from my perspective is that they are specific to an individual file and are not shared across a version set.
(This can partially replace the function of version-specific labels which I suggested a while ago, to general indifference.)

Step 2. Label preferred images as "Y" in this field

Search for all non-versioned images. Add "Y" to this custom input field for all images found. This means all the main versions are now tagged "Y" except for version sets.
Search for all album display versions. Add"Y" to the custom input field for all images found.

Step 3. Set up the "Y" criterion as a favourite search

Now search (in the text search box) for Y@xmp.icd.QV2Display.
Result: I get the album display version if it exists, and the main version for all files which don't have versions.
"Add current collection" to the dynamic search box, then save it as a favourite.
The label will just show as "text" in the favourites panel, so I renamed it as Y@xmp.icd.QV2Display.

Step 4. Use the filter

Now I can filter anything in the CV using this as a filter, to see my preferred version for each version set.
Or I can use this as part of a dynamic search.

N0. If no file in a version set has "Y", none will show up under this filter.
N1. I can label several versions of the same image with "Y" if more than one is a preferred image.
N2. I can create additional fields such as QV4Facebook.
N3. Every file you change will be out of sync once you have done step 2 above.
N4. I am thinking about whether to put "N" in the QV4Display field for files which are NOT preferred display images. That way I can tell if I have forgotten to process a version set, by looking for files with neither Y nor N in this field.

... David

PS suggestions very welcome to improve this idea.

David Grundy
Posts: 241
Joined: 13 May 07 16:40
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Use a custom input field to control which version to dis

Post by David Grundy » 08 Jul 13 18:22

In my testing of whether these versions in fact get used beyond the CV (as of the date of writing)

Previews don't display the intended version
BTW I note that although this shows the correct versions in the CV then the wrong version is displayed in the preview, similar to an existing reported issue.

But Batch commands from the CV will be based on the intended version.

It is possible to get the Light Table to show the intended version
If I open the light table from an image in the CV, then
(i) if that image is versioned, the Light Table will show all versions.
(ii) if that image is not versioned, the light table will show that single version, and will then show the correct single version of each other image that you get to using ctrl-right and ctrl-left.

... David

Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Use a custom input field to control which version to dis

Post by tstoddard » 08 Jul 13 20:35


Your solution to displaying specific versions it pretty ingenious. As you've pointed out, however, it does require some thought and caution in its use.

When I see the lengths you and some others are going to try to control the display of specific versions it reminds me of just how challenging this whole concept of versions can be within the context of a catalog. It seems a shame that you need to go to these lengths to accomplish what you're trying to accomplish when the catalog already contains all of the data needed to do it. I'm not able to test any of this right now but are you sure you can't accomplish this using dynamic searches and version placeholders? For example, isn't it possible to create, using dynamic search, a filter that excludes all versions except album display versions and save that to favorites and then use it to exclude any non-album display versions from any collection you select?

Regardless of whether or not you can do what I suggest, it is worth considering how the implementation of versions could be modified to allow the sort of flexibility you desire. Perhaps PSU's developers will take some of this into consideration for future development of PSU. For example, perhaps somewhere in the filter bar a drop down with a list of version place holders and checkboxes for each could enable a user to display or exclude any or all members of version sets currently in the CV. I would also welcome the ability to unstack and stack version sets within the CV. There are many directions the developers could go with the implementation of version sets and I don't want to get off on that conversation because everyone has strong opinions about how they'd like for it to go, but I think it is one area where there seems to be a lot of interest in seeing improvements/enhancements made.
Tom Stoddard

David Grundy
Posts: 241
Joined: 13 May 07 16:40
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Use a custom input field to control which version to dis

Post by David Grundy » 09 Jul 13 14:56

Thanks Tom

Regarding the first of your two main paragraphs, suggesting using placeholders as a possibly easier solution ...

Actually I think my workaround is quite easy to set up. I don't think it's harder than assigning files to the correct placeholders. And if files are assigned to specific placeholders, it's the work of a few minutes to assign the correct QV4* flags as well even for the whole database, by searching on placeholders and then assigning the value to the search results. (What is slower is then synchronising the xmp out to the file. Every assignment of a flag results in out-of-sync and a metadata write on next sync.)

Unfortunately search results for searches on version placeholders don't seem to work the way I'd expect when combined with other search terms. I've posted about a couple of instances recently. So I don't want to rely on searches involving version placeholders.

But still, using placeholders for newly imported images makes sense because PSu can do this, and I can treat it as a step to getting my flags set up when I later search on the placeholder.

Regarding the second main paragraph:

For the purposes of this thread, I'm accepting that PSu is what it is right now (build

I'd really prefer to keep this thread on the topic of suggestions and experience for the workaround I suggested, or alternative approaches using the existing capability of PSu. So I'm starting a new thread for Better implementation of versions? I will quote your suggestions there as a topic starter. I hope you don't mind.

... David

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