Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Devil's in the Details

A good piece of software should make boring, repetitive and error prone tasks easy. One of them that photographers face regularly is resizing a batch of images. The typical situation is the day after a party when everybody wants a copy of the photos you took, either by email or on a CD. Quite often, people don't want the full size but they'd quite like copies of all the photos. I found myself in such a situation on New Year's Day: 150-odd photos that needed resizing and burning to a CD. Luckily, I had my trusty Ubuntu laptop running Shotwell. Shotwell does exactly the right thing when you want to export photos: it allows you to resize them all to a size that you specify, as shown in the dialog below:

Shotwell's export dialog

Shotwell's export dialog

My laptop took a few minutes to resize all 150 photos when I exported them. Next to me was a friend who uses a proprietary operating system that shall remain nameless and who commented: Wow, that's cool! When I do that, I have to resize each photo manually and it takes ages! Sometimes the best features are the simple ones.


ppr said...

I completely agree. But Shotwell can still be improved. For example, I use shotwell and the piwigo plugin to publish. I want to send pictures light (and so resized pictures) to my piwigo gallerie. I am forced to resize pictures in Shotwell, export them in a folder and then import them in shotwell and finally publish them... and don't forget to delete the resized version of these pictures in shotwell...

Unknown said...

Every piece of software can always be improved :-) As the person who ported the Piwigo plugin to the new API, I know what you're talking about and I agree that it would be a very valuable improvement for Piwigo users. The ability to resize images when publishing to Piwigo is recorded in ticket 3750. It's definitely on my list of things to look at when I have the time. In the meantime, feel free to add a comment to the ticket and explain your workflow. Or if you have development skills and you fancy getting a bit of experience in Vala, this feature shouldn't be too difficult to implement so feel free to provide a patch.