What is a "Project"?

@OXiDant I am sorry that your understanding of ‘Projects’ was that what happened in a project stayed in a project.

The Database entries (and therefore the DOP entries, which are “just” external copies of the database entries, and which could well “outlive” the database) are common between the original directory and the ‘Projects’ “directory” a change to any will result in a change to all or rather to the one but that all share.

Absolutely, the Project does not “own” anything except a pointer to the original image data. You can create a VC in a project and you will find it (them) in the DxPL view of the original and they will be added as a new database entry and as an additional element in the one DOP that handles the storage for the [M]aster and any VCs created, regardless of where they were created.

Yes they allow focus, either simply by reducing the number in view or by collecting similar images together for whatever rationale the user wishes to use for creating such a ‘Projects’. Their “cheapness” on storage and processing time are a major asset to their use, particularly with DxPL’s automatic rendering whenever encounters a directory for the first time on any and every subsequent occasion.

If you create VCs in the directory view they can be added to a “Visit to Gothenberg - B/W” ‘Project’ and you can then move to the ‘Project’ to process all the images (VCs) you find their as black and white and the ‘Project’ is doing its job of “restricting” your view, i.e. of focussing your view. When you return to the directory view then both the original image and the B/W VC will be in view.

VCs are relatively “cheap”, they will create additional entries in the database which start out as direct copies of the [M]aster or VC used as the template for the VC at the time the VC was created (in the directory view or in the ‘Project’ view. In addition they will be added to the DOP, effectively at least doubling, then x3, x4 etc. the size of the DOP, depending on how many VCs are created and the complexity of the edits.

To create VCs that can are restricted to a ‘Project’ you could modify DxPL to

(1) create a new image automatically e.g. in a subfolder, add it to the database (and create its external copy - the DOP) and point to it from the ‘Project’


(2) add a field in database entry (and in the DOP) indicating that the image (VC) was restricted to the ‘Project’ view, i.e. effectively restricting its visibility any VCs created within a ‘Project’ could only be created in the same project unless you added commands to allow …

The second of the two is way easier to implement but then raises the issue of what do you do if the user decides to delete a ‘Project’ which would be the sole custodian of some (or all) VCs for an image.

The alternative you suggest is complex to implement and each user would potentially want a different variant of the scheme.

Personally I like the idea of ‘Projects’ but don’t like the fact that given I am creating and destroying databases to keep the database simple so that I can review what happens inside DxPL I will keep losing them!

Personally I would leave them as they are but create my own workflow to “emulate” the idea of the ‘Project’ being the sole owner of a VC but push for a utility to allow projects to be backed up.

Such a backup would need to turn the simple references within the ‘Projects’ structures into a table containing the project name and the full identity of the image at the time the ‘Projects’ structures were “dumped” but is complicated by having to reference VCs.

The alternative is to add ‘Project’ references to the DOP but that complicates matters because currently the DOP is a copy of certain database entries for the image copied to a file. Now we need to add additional data although there is an ‘Albums’ field already in the DOP which appear to be unused!

The [M]aster entry:-


The VC1 entry:-

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YES – that’s what I use(d) in LR 5.7 for photobooks

My main database in C1 is around 250 GB (including previews to cull faster). All RAWs are externally referenced. I never lost images or projects because of database corruption.
DxO must be pretty lousy with database implementation to make your fears come true. And no, you can’t “emulate” projects by abusing dop.files spread all over the place of one harddrive, DxO PL would need to crawl through all directories to get a temporary database. Which is nothing else than importing data, just have to happen every time you start up DxO. Opposite of quick.

@JoJu The database in DxPL is SQLite and guess what is used in C1? The database in DxPL is way less complex than C1. The database in IMatch is also SQLite and they are proud to have users with way more that 500,000 images.

So a “simple” database of the type where other products using the same database software have high numbers of images is at particular risk, not really!

Size is most certainly not an indicator of anything, other than the amount data per image that is being stored and DxPL is by far the lightest of this three. The number of images being stored is the measure of the product.

So that leaves the following risk factors

  1. The user
  2. The software

Given what I am doing with DxPL databases I don’t trust my actions!

DxPL in the upgrade from PL4 to PL5 ignored the existing PL4 database in some cases and set up a new database in the default location. Many users had never backed up and never felt the need to but one certainly lost some much loved ‘Projects’ which DxO techs helped to salvage!

Plus DxO provides a running, re-usable audit entry in the DOP.

Not my intention at all, simply present your image to a new database as you currently do and from the DOP the image edits and metadata will be restored and so could any entry (including VCs) be restored to a project.

No impact on normal running only when (re-)discovering “new” images with a DOP in tow and a trivial overhead, but also a slight overhead when updating a DOP for an image in one or more ‘Projects’!

Please remember that I designed and supported multi million pound systems with multi million record databases spanning huge numbers of old fashioned disk drives, which were not as reliable as modern drives, in one case holding all the UK households of 33,000,000 and rising.

My philosophy for the 36 years I was working with those systems was “if it can happen it will so what (if anything) can we do to mitigate the risk” of such an occurrence and what preparations should we make to recover the situation in the event that it occurs.

Use of redundant data etc. etc. plus use of the dump and recovery tools that came with the product, tailored to the users requirements, plus the development of BCP (Business Continuity Plans and Business Continuity Procedures and Packages) including the provisioning of Backup sites and …

So when I view a situation in DxPL that I feel is potentially vulnerable then I look for a potential solution, no more and no less.

Have you been doing the multi million pound systems without trusting your actions? Somehow I don’t believe that. :wink: Malfunction by user actions is always a possibility, like hitting “delete” and the wrong folder goes down the drain. I was not developing databases but working with extern referenced files since 1/4 century. Eventually things can go wrong, you’re right.

But expecting them to go wrong is no reason to stay away from it and stick with the old Windows folders as sole instrument to organize images.

@JoJu that was some time ago and I had a support network behind me, of which I was also a part, where I could ask about anything I didn’t know or was unsure about and/or present a design/plan for peer review to people I trusted.

That was 15 years ago, now I am involved investigating a product with limited in-depth technical information on offer and the once limited access to DxO personnel now essentially non existent!

Sometimes in my haste to check on something I forget to backup the database or stop myself just in the nick of time!

Please change the record, this particular track was boring when you first “played” it and it has been “played” so, so, so, so many times since! Having a “boring” old structure overlaid with a more modern catalogue/management system provides the best of both worlds and, hopefully, a means of transitioning to something even better when it comes along (providing it is affordable).

I know it don’t create vc’s but it should be able to.:grinning:
Sometimes i select some images out of bridge2023 and open them inside dxopl.
This action forces dxopl to create a project.
I stopped using it because of wel didn’t needed it much in my kind of workflow.

My goal of repeating the fact that softproofing is active warning you to create a vc befóre you change settings inside softproofing mode is mainly if it can be done there why not in projects.
(besides the feature request of checkbox “create vc’s of all selected images” in create project of selected images.)
And the point of removing a project got orphins , yes but a suffix remains so you know why you have that vc in the filmstrip.

It is not more boring than continuously repeating the workarounds like your iMatch (or PhotoMechanic or take whatever you like) database on top of DxO. I simply don’t get why a separate database/viewer app with no access to your RAW-edits else than exporting before you can view them should be superior than have a very good RAW converter with inbuilt organisation system. But I don’t have to get that, I can agree. I better enjoy the simpler life outside of the “only RAW-converter, no more”-world.

@JoJu I am glad that some of my remarks are as irritating to you as some of yours are to me.

But I don’t find Capture One particularly exciting under almost any circumstances. The way it does what it does (and there are a wealth of features) does not fit with the way that I want to work and the cost is just prohibitive in my case.

I like the way that DxPL works, that was why I bought it in the first place and those reasons have not changed, it has got better and better with each release from my perspective (notwithstanding the current ongoing render issues) but could be even better if DxO implemented some minor changes to the product and added some features that would require more effort!

In the meantime the other software that I use is either there for historic reasons or because they fill a gap. C1 might fulfil all of the reasons I use a number of packages but I just cannot be bothered with the learning curve and simply find the cost too prohibitive so my cash remains in the bank.

I will continue to use my workarounds and my cash will serve me better by enabling me to replace my slow graphics card with something a bit faster!

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Well, DxO PL + additional tools are also not for free, so it might depend which “additional tool” is needed and comes into total costs.

The learning curve of C1 was steeper than the one for Aperture, I think so. But I could not compare it to DxO’s learning curve as I already was familiar with two other similar apps. If I already learnt about shadow and highlight recovery, dealing with colour adjustments and local adjustments… it was comparatively easy to learn PL, but tricky to get used to “what can you do in one app and can’t do in the other?”. Anyway, you’re happy with your workflow, that’s important, nobody else has to be. :smiley:

FastRawViewer would always be part of my arsenal of applications, cheap and I already have a licence. No use for keywording and IPTC data but ‘Rating’ and ‘Colour Labels’ work O.K. providing you remember to refresh if interacting with DxPL in my case.

FastStone Image Viewer has been my “go to” basic image viewer and general image manager and still is and I paid my donation twice over the years. Useless for metadata and RAWs are only displayed as embedded JPGs and if it moves images, DOPs and xmp sidecars will be left behind so I use FRV or Beyond Compare to move individual images and associated bits.

Beyond Compare is my main data shifter, I’ve had a licence forever and wouldn’t be without it regardless of what editing or file manager software I was using.

XnView has also always been on my machines, and XnViewMP more recently as it has matured but it looks as if it (they) could be useful for IPTC templates albeit not as powerful as Photo Mechanic but not as expensive either!

Affinity 2, ACDSee Gemstone and ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate are this years editor updates and Zoner has been relegated to free mode.

Adobe Bridge takes part in tests but I don’t use it seriously.

The only really serious editing software I use is DxPL, warts and all!

I have owned IMatch for just over a year and it is way more powerful than I need but has features that may be useful for the only thing I am concerned about, namely, keeping track of photos of Family members, currently designated with a “.F” at the directory level and “-F” at the image level in my “boringly” conventional structured file storage.

Now back to seeing whether I should buy the cheapest RTX2060 I can get hold of or stretch a bit and get an RTX3060 and that will be the budget gone for this year! If Panasonic come out with a G9 replacement with Phase Detect Auto Focus then … I will have to wait until the price comes down!

I never lost images but I absolutely lost edits due to C1 database corruption and I have seen multiple reports of others having the same problem. I vowed never to use C1 catalogs again and used sessions only from that point forward until I switched to DXO PL.

Thanks all.

Regarding opposing wishes for what “projects” should be, it is clear that there are two different potential workflows that are each popular. There is an easy solution if the development costs are justified and able to be the priority… DxO could simply add the concept of a “Virtual Project” to DxO. People who want the current functionality could use the current solutions. Then a “Virtual Project” could have the functionality of a project where every photo is treated as a virtual copy. It would be a different thing, and possibly better than making virtual copies and adding to a project, as it would eliminate the need for those virtual copies to even exist (and create confusion) elsewhere.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion on what a project is. Very helpful.

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