IMatch Discussion Boards => General Discussion and Questions => Topic started by: monochrome on March 22, 2015, 12:16:39 AM

Title: Metadata About Categories
Post by: monochrome on March 22, 2015, 12:16:39 AM
The situation is this: I have a number of photos, and have organized them in IMatch categories. Now I'd like to add metadata to the category itself.

For example, let's say I've been on a vacation. So I create a category, "Vacation" and put the photos in there. Then I write a trip summary - you know, "My Vacation by Monochrome, 8 years old". I write my summary in a document (text, ODF or HTML) and put the file in the same folder as the photos and add it to the category.

Now I'd like to express that "This is the trip summary for the photos in this category". My question is how I would go about doing that - both in IMatch and using XMP.

In IMatch, the only solution I've come up with is to create a second category - "Trip Summary" (or maybe "Relation.Trip Summary") - and add my summary to both that one and "Vacation". Then I can find it by querying for "Vacation" and "Trip Summary".

As far as XMP is concerned, I'm completely out of ideas.
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Ferdinand on March 22, 2015, 09:27:08 AM
So far as categories are concerned, each category has its own description property.  That seems well suited to what you have in mind.  To fill it in, open the category properties in the lower left.  But I'm not sure where this description field is displayed.  In IMatch 3.6 if was displayed under the category name in the file window caption bar.  This seems not to be an option in V5, at least not that I can see (and yes, I read the help).

As for image XMP, there are a lot of fields to choose from.  Description is one.  You could use a hierarchical keyword.  Not sure what the problem is.

If you want to keep them in sync, I'd use a metadata template to write the category description to XMP.  I haven't tried this but I think it can be done.
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Mario on March 22, 2015, 09:33:52 AM
IMatch 5 displays the category description in the category property window (where you can also edit it) and also in the tooltip/thumbnail tip that is displayed when you move the mouse cursor over the category in the Category View.

Category descriptions are not accessible via variables. There is no "link" to access this information because there are no variables which allow you to just pick out a certain category, without any context. It is accessible in scripts, though.
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Ferdinand on March 22, 2015, 10:51:24 AM
Any reason why not in the caption bar?

I see your point about variables.
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Mario on March 22, 2015, 11:32:52 AM
Any reason why not in the caption bar?

Design decision.
The file window caption bar wraps longer folder/category/collection names into a second row as needed, and this would overwrite the comment. We discussed this during the Alpha test phase long ago and I've found a corresponding comment in the source code. I decided to not use the overflow space in the caption bar and to display the comment instead in the fly-over tooltip (and now also in the thumbnail tooltip).

This can be changed with some effort and additional logic. If there comes up an FR with sufficient Likes, I'll look into this for a later release. I doubt that the feature to add descriptions to folders and categories is used by many users.

As an idea for the OP: What I do:

I store a simple HTML file in the folder (often) or category (rarely). I could also use a plain text file but I like to have some formatting abilities.

I name this "_description.html" so it sorts to the top using my default sort profile. The Quick Preview panel displays HTML files using Internet Explorer and this means I cannot only store text but even format it if so desired.

I have a small IMatch script which creates these HTML files for me. I then just open them in an editor and write whatever I want to remember about the photos in the folder. Since it is HTML, I can also link to other files, web sites etc.

I don't need to mirror the per-folder or per-category description in metadata. I use the description tag to store per-file descriptions, not information about the folder (irrelevant) or the category (a file can be in many categories, what if all have descriptions)?

But if I would like to copy the folder/categroy description to the file metadata, I would just select all files, then select the text in the Quick View panel, and paste it into the XMP tag I want to fill in the Metadata Panel. Done.


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Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Mario on March 22, 2015, 11:40:30 AM
And of course you could even write a little IMatch App which displays the description of the currently visible folder/category in the App Panel - and a lot more.

Which, gosh, copies the description to all selected files by a click of a button.
Which allows you to see and enter/edit the folder/category description.
Which allows you to create HTML files and edit the contents.
The possibilities of IMatch Apps are nearly limitless... :)
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: ubacher on March 22, 2015, 01:08:31 PM
Seems to me all way to complicated:
You say you want to express:
This is the trip summary for the photos in this category"

So you name the file _Trip Summary and assign it to the category.

When you want to find it just select the category and look for the/a (text) file or for the file name.
Should be on top, assuming normal sorting by file name.

Is that too inconvenient?
Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: monochrome on March 22, 2015, 02:23:35 PM
The problem isn't as much about "how to create a description for a category", but rather, how categories can be reified and used as resources in RDF statements, and how this metadata can be managed by IMatch.

Assuming that any file can be referred to by a URL, I can create a file like "category.xmp" and stuff category metadata in it and then use dc:IsPartOf tag to reference the category.xmp from each file that is in the category. This pretty much solves the problem as far as creating the metadata graph and storing the data outside of IMatch is concerned.

But it doesn't solve the problem as to how IMatch helps me search and navigate this metadata graph. IMatch is good at maintaining metadata for individual documents, but it's not as good when it comes to describing relations between documents beyond buddy files and versions of a single document.

Much can be solved with IMatch apps, but some things need to be standardized. Just a brainstorming list:

Title: Re: Metadata About Categories
Post by: Mario on March 22, 2015, 02:58:14 PM
Do you think that more than one user ever will use this? I'm not sure about this.

Categories and folders have an URI format (except maybe for proper semantics as you need them).
Keywords have an URI if you consider hierarchical keywords, which have unique URIs.

You can do this, and more, already easily from a script. There are no user-customizable attributes for categories, but this can be easily substituted by a global Attribute set which holds information for each category. (You can copy/paste the category name via the clipboard, by the way). Then use an IMatch script to create your XML data, accessing whatever information you need, from category descriptions to custom attributes. Easy to do.

You can of course also write up a proper feature request so other users can see it and comment on it.