[Techtalk] photo collection management software

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Mon Jan 21 19:06:13 UTC 2013

John Sturdy writes:
> Some time I'll get round to (re-)organizing my photo directory tree,
> and am wondering what software to use for this.  I've looked at
> reviews of the mainstream photo collection software for Linux, and
> none of it looks like it'll suit me.  I'd like something entirely
> keystroke-driven (I'm not looking for editing the pictures within it),
> that only uses one window at the X level (I use ratpoison, so don't
> like things with separate toolbar windows etc, and I'm fairly
> mouse-phobic anyway); I'd want it to handle a directory tree, and
> provide tagging, but have an interface like Akkana Peck's "pho".  A
> textual database format (or database export to text) would be nice,
> too.
> Any suggestions for something like this, or would I be best off
> extending pho?

Please, extend pho! (Not that I'm biased or anything. :-)

Pho does handle tagging (keywords mode, which gives output you can
paste into text Keywords files; it doesn't get write to the Keywords
file directly but I've been wanting to add that).  I use it for all
my tagging.  I'm not totally satisfied with the UI, but I haven't
come up with a better idea, and I'd love to hear suggestions for
better ways to do it.  I'd also love to get help supporting
directory trees and otherwise improving directory navigation.

But I'm also very interested to hear how other apps do this, so I
hope some other people chime in. I don't much like the iPhoto-type
model, where you have a big window showing lots of thumbnails, and
all the data is saved in an opaque database that only works with
that one app and can't be migrated to anything else.  Most of the
Linux photo organization apps seem to be copying that model (which
is why I've kept hacking pho all these years). But there must be a
few programs that use other models. What's the most efficient way to
deal with five years' worth of uncategorized photos, or returning
from a vacation where you shot 2000 photos?


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