OK. I have analysed and played.
I took a RAW file with an accompanying XMP sidecar, into which Lightroom had written “Sky LrC” as a keyword, but without a DOP file.
Opening this file in PL6 shows this keyword correctly, along with all the other metadata imported from the XMP sidecar.
Then I added “Sky PL” as another keyword, closed PL6 and reopened it.
Lo and behold, both keywords have been written to both the DOP and XMP are present.
But, only if I have the following checkbox set in Preferences…
if I unset the checkbox…
… and do the same routine, then any changes made will only be applied to the DOP file and not the XMP sidecar. unless I use the File menu to explicitly write the metadata changes to the XMP sidecar.
If I then send all three files to someone else, they may not have a database entry for the newly added keyword, the XMP won’t contain it either and, thus, this is what happens…
The only reference that PL can find to the new keyword is in the DOP, which it attempts to show. But then it appears that PL goes on to read the database, doesn’t find the new keyword, takes the database as final authority and removes the “Sky PL” keyword as it “synchronises” the two.
Can @bobrocke, @Bert and anyone else please try out this scenario, just to make sure I’m not going totally daft?
Of course, if you rely on the database, make sure to do a backup before deleting it.
Just one of the many joys of not sticking to the principle of SPOD (single point of definition)