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Author Topic: Is LR a compromise?  (Read 8912 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2006, 05:41:20 PM »
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Oh, I don't know...because it is the raw processor used by some 67% of the respondents of the OpenRaw survey and the most widely used processor on a regular basis (48%)? What, you want Adobe to quite using it's own Camera Raw pipline in an app they are designing? Actually pretty silly idea considering Camera Raw is the raw processing pipline of Lightroom and everything is built around Camera Raw...why would Adobe spend resources creating an interchangable pipline when they are no standards for such a pipline?
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Jeff,

I have zero problem with Adobe embedding ACR in LR. ACR or ACR+RSP is a good RAW converter that i used to use on a regular basis with my SLR/n and it is indeed convenient to have a closely integrated converter in a DAM software. What I find regretable is that Adobe didn't put in place a plug-in mechanism enabling third party RAW converters to deliver a LR compatible version of their converter.

Because even if ACR is the RAW converter used mostly my a majority of people, many of these people I am sure also use regulrly other RAW converters as well on the same data. At least I do, and I know for a fact that many others also do.

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Well, I suppose that's one way of looking at it...particularly if you are predisposed to dislike Adobe as you seem to be. Another way of looking at it that Adobe is throwing its hat in the ring of metadata based image editors that have suddenly appeared (after years of hard work) and are engineering an application that can process not only raw files but tiffs, psds and jpgs as well. All based upon Camera Raw...and now with RSP engineering and features (to be seen in Beta 4).
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I don't dislike Adobe Jeff. I like many of the things Adobe has done, and I don't find it particularly surprising that they are trying to provide an answer to new offerings from the competition. That is a completely natural move.

Adobe has by the way never commented negatively on Nikon Capture, you have.

What is a pity from my point of view is that they are adopting an approach that falls slightly short of what could have been done easily had they wanted to stay open, instead of trying to lock people into LR.

Cheers,
Bernard
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2006, 07:29:25 PM »
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What is a pity from my point of view is that they are adopting an approach that falls slightly short of what could have been done easily had they wanted to stay open, instead of trying to lock people into LR.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Locking in? What locking in? LR gives you the ability to easily export a raw file as a DNG to a new directory or you can directly access the original file from LR by hitting Command/Ctrl+R. If that's not good enough, then you can just browse to the directory containing the file just like you would have to do anyway with another converter.

And, before you say you'd like it if LR would recognize the edits to a raw file from another converter (just in case you were), let me point out that there currently is no converter (or file manager) in existence that can do that anyway. So all-in-all, using LR along with other conversion tools is little different than what's available already today.

Adding hooks for a modular raw conversion engine would be quite the task, especially, as Jeff pointed out, there is no standard means in which raw converters work. While it's certainly possible to do such a thing, and it may happen if demand is there for it, I think Adobe is right in focusing their energies in building a useable and open (yes it's open and it'll be even more so by 1.0) DAM.

Before you can build Hot Rod, you have to start with a good chassis.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2006, 08:06:48 PM »
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Locking in? What locking in? LR gives you the ability to easily export a raw file as a DNG to a new directory or you can directly access the original file from LR by hitting Command/Ctrl+R. If that's not good enough, then you can just browse to the directory containing the file just like you would have to do anyway with another converter.
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That's clearly not good enough for me.

You have spent time inputing meta-data in LR to make it easier to query your RAW files, and now you'll have to browse directories or manually export a DNG each time you want to work with a different RAW converter? That's simply not manageable for those working with large amount of data with other converters. And I am not even discussing the problem that no-one supports DNG but Adobe.

All I am asking is the possibility to launch a different RAW converter from inside LR once it has located a file. It doesn't even have to be integrated in the LR interface.

How the links between the files are managed would have to be thought about, and Adobe alone would probably not be able to come up with something without cooperating with the other RAW converter software editors, which is why I suggested the creation of a plug-in mechanism. A plug-in mechanism is nothing but a simple set of standards that tell other software how they have to handle data so that the calling application can keep mastery of the workflow.

In the case of LR, all that would be needed is a simple way for LR to keep track of what files were generated by the external RAW converter based on the RAW file that was passed to it. The storage of the edits in the external raw converted would remain managed by the external converter (typically by storing a .xml file in the same directory as the RAW file).

For me, the ideal workflow would be a 4 + 2 steps mechanism inspired from RSP:

1. Browse images based on LR generated previews (new images after a shoot) or queries (older images you look for),
2. Apply simple meta data to the selected winners in LR (ranging from a simple Flag to more complex batch applied meta data),
3. Do a final conversion of the winning images in any RAW converter I like (DxO, Capture NX, Bibble, Silkpix,...),
4. Updating pointers in the LR database to the converted images. This would be done by LR based on the plug-in mechanism,
5. Open the converted image in PS or any other image editing software (noise reduction, sharpening,...),
6. Save back the layered image,
7. Use other LR functions like web galleries creations,...

I could even write specs for this. I'd have to be paid for doing that though.

Adobe is of course free to focus on an ACR centered workflow, but they will lose a unique chance to become universal and to occupy a truely central role in many photographers' workflow.

Anything can be done in software and Adobe has both the resources and skills to deal with the additional complexity. It can be V2, all that I need is a commited roadmap.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 08:46:09 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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John Camp
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2006, 09:12:55 PM »
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Considering how complex software development is (particularly with an app of this size) and how long it takes, there's no chance in Hell that could be the case. If you read the Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story, you can see that Adobe had been working on LR far longer than they even knew about Apples efforts.

I would agree though that the decision to release the public "Beta" of LR was inspired by the release of Aperture.

And, I really don't see any way you could come to the conclusion that they are not enthused about making Aperture. It does not make a lick of sense considering their involvement in the photo community, blogs, workshops, etc. When was the last time they did all that for Photoshop?
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In the above note, you mean Lightroom, not Aperture.

Look: I really LIKE Lightroom. A lot. I have since it first came out. I want to make it my major processing/management software, because I am NOT a computer guy, and I really don't like the idea of learning and fighting nine different software packages to get one good print. I don't doubt that Bernard knows what he's doing when he asks for RAW plug-ins, but I personally don't care about all of that: I want one clear, efficient, smooth-working piece of software that will take care of most processing and management. In other words, I'm much more interested in the photography than in the computer science. Although I was recently pissed on a bit by Jeff Schewe in another thread, I have even bought the Schewe/Reichmann LR Beta-3 instructional disk. I'm telling you, I LIKE the program.

However: I may be wrong about the lack of enthusiasm, it's just something I've sensed in reading about every post I can find about Lightroom. And -- again -- I may be wrong. So I took your advice and re-read the Shadowland story (which I'd originally read in January), and if YOU read it, you'll find that Schewe more than hints at a lack of company drive behind the project. At one point, he even credits the announcement of Aperture as having saved the Lightroom project, as late as a year ago.
 
Given the number of features requests Adobe has gotten, and the comments about it in posts I've seen, I'd assumed that we'd have six or seven beta versions before the final, with a final version coming out sometime this fall. And in January, I was left with the impression that Windows would be out shortly. It didn't show up until summer. I don't care about that personally, because I'm a Mac user, but it made me think that things were not moving at high speed.

I've recently been told in rather rude terms that the launch date is before the end of 2006. But we're now looking at what's essentially the first Windows version, and the Beta 3 Mac. Some people have complained that Beta 3 is very slow on their machines (although it doesn't seem terrible on mine) and have been told by computer guys that the slowness is because the code has not yet been optimized for speed. They also wonder about some promised features that haven't shown up yet. As I said, I'm not a computer guy, so I'll ask you computer guys -- is optimizing for speed essentially a trivial task that can be done in a couple of weeks? Are the features still outstanding the kind of thing that are essentially plug-in modules that may be ready right now, in the Adobe labs, and don't really need much field testing?

Could we have a Beta 4 on Oct. 1, get back commentary and fixes, and still launch before Dec. 30?

Or (as I fear) are we really talking about a development process with a long way to go?

JC
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Josh-H
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2006, 09:21:43 PM »
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is optimizing for speed essentially a trivial task that can be done in a couple of weeks? Are the features still outstanding the kind of thing that are essentially plug-in modules that may be ready right now, in the Adobe labs, and don't really need much field testing?

Could we have a Beta 4 on Oct. 1, get back commentary and fixes, and still launch before Dec. 30?

Or (as I fear) are we really talking about a development process with a long way to go?

EXCELLENT questions - and BTW: I LOVE LR as well [what I have seen of it to date in its current BETA 3 form]- for me its a means to a single unified piece of software to manage and process my entire library - wether RAW, JPEG, TIFF or whatever.

But.. it needs to do certain tasks as well as other available pieces of software - see my post in another thread on Photokit Sharpen for LR. And.. do better RAW conversions than I currently get from DPP.

I was also battered down by Shewe in another thread for commenting that the RAW conversions from LR are not as good as those I get from DPP - it is apprarently 'my fault' for not knowing how to properly use the RAW converter in LR - which it could be - but I doubt it - I think its Canon's own conversion algorithim that procudes RAW conversions with more punch. Anyway., be that as it may or may not be.. I have also purchased the Latest Beta 3 LR tutorial and put some pennies in the Shewe coffers    becasue I beleive in the  product and want it to work.

So I am just trying to state my requirements for what I need in the program to make it the single unified tool for my photography needs.

Edit - Forgot to add - I've also read the Shadowland story, followed the announcements on LR's website, Photoshop News [AKA - Shewe's site], purchased tutorials, listended to Pod Casts, etc.. so I think my interest in this product is a proven entity!    

I would like to add a question to the above as well for Jeff.

Do you think that with the finished version of LR that it will be necessary to take a round trip through PS for such things as detailed sharpening? Or, do you envisage, that we would only head to PS for VERY detailed correction work? [which is my current understanding.. I think]
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 10:00:01 PM by JHolko » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2006, 11:07:03 PM »
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I have also purchased the Latest Beta 3 LR tutorial and put some pennies in the Shewe coffers    becasue I beleive in the  product and want it to work.
Just to be PERFECTLY CLEAR, I didn't get paid to be on Michael's DVD and I don't earn 1 penny (I did get the nice trip to the country and dinner prepared by Chris and Michael). So, you ain't putting any money in MY coffers...BTW, the name is SCHEWE, not Shewe...

:~)

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Do you think that with the finished version of LR that it will be necessary to take a round trip through PS for such things as detailed sharpening? Or, do you envisage, that we would only head to PS for VERY detailed correction work? [which is my current understanding.. I think]
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Well, there are things I know, which I can't say. . .there are things I think which are not covered by NDA. Will Lightroom 1.0 be "finished"? No...but it will be a very useful product (a lot better than Bridge version 1.0). Will you need to constantly round trip to Photoshop? I have no idea what constitutes "required pixel level edits" to you, but I will round trip FINAL images to Photoshop for substantial retouching and manipulations, yes. Some things (which will come out in due time) I simply can't comment on. But, I think you'll see a -LOT- of difference between beta 3 and beta 4 and I would guess you'll see some glimer at Photoshop World and I would guess you'll be using it before Oct...

:~)

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Could we have a Beta 4 on Oct. 1, get back commentary and fixes, and still launch before Dec. 30?
Yep. . .will it? I don't know...look at b4 when it comes out and see what you think...

And while Shadowland had a difficult life BEFORE Adobe made the decision to continue working on it and actually release it, not so much AFTER Beta 1 of Lightroom shipped...remember, the dev story was written BEFORE the public preview. Look at the number of people on the splash screen for beta 1 and look at the number of people listed on beta 4 when it ships and you'll see a DRAMTIC jump in the number of engineers and others now working on Lightroom.

And yes, properly adjusting either Camera Raw or Lightroom you CAN indeed match DPP for tone & color. Now, it doesn't by DEFAULT because Camera Raw/Lightroom now handles over 100 raw file formats and cameras so the odds are that Canon can nail the "defaults" better than Adobe, but that's not to say a skilled user can't match Canon's defaults-if that's really what you want. Me? I just want to get the images to look the way I want and "default" is never what I end up at...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 11:08:42 PM by Schewe » Logged
61Dynamic
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2006, 11:41:06 AM »
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In the above note, you mean Lightroom, not Aperture.
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I meant Aperture; "I believe its possible that Adobe released LR as a public beta in response to the release of Aperture," is what I was saying there.

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However: I may be wrong about the lack of enthusiasm, it's just something I've sensed in reading about every post I can find about Lightroom. And -- again -- I may be wrong. So I took your advice and re-read the Shadowland story (which I'd originally read in January), and if YOU read it, you'll find that Schewe more than hints at a lack of company drive behind the project. At one point, he even credits the announcement of Aperture as having saved the Lightroom project, as late as a year ago.
I'd say there's a difference between Adobe corporate, and the people working on LR. Corporate may not have had much interest until Apple announced Aperture, but I'm fairly certain the people working on LR are very enthused about what they are making. To me, that is what counts, just as long as corporate lets them do their thing.

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Given the number of features requests Adobe has gotten, and the comments about it in posts I've seen, I'd assumed that we'd have six or seven beta versions before the final, with a final version coming out sometime this fall. And in January, I was left with the impression that Windows would be out shortly. It didn't show up until summer. I don't care about that personally, because I'm a Mac user, but it made me think that things were not moving at high speed.
Software takes time. Personally, I'm not surprised at the rate betas have been released. Nor am I surprised LR took as long as it did to come to Windows considering how such a thing practically requires a re-write to achieve the level of exactness between platform versions Adobe is keen on maintaining. LR for Win is more than a port, it's been built for the operating environment.

Now that The Win version is up and running things should start advancing more quickly.

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-- is optimizing for speed essentially a trivial task that can be done in a couple of weeks?
Optimization is a combination of debugging and running the app through a debugger application (pardon me if the term is wrong, I'm certain it is, it's been a wile). Basically, the debugger software executes every command the software being built can do and looks for portions of the code that are using more CPU process or memory than it should. Or, they use the program and have tool running that analyzes the processes in real-time looking for issues (you can do this yourself on a Mac with the developer tools on the install dvd. Shark I believe the app is called). The developers take the information they gathered, dive into the millions of lines of code that make up the developing app and then try and problem solve to make it more efficient. This can either be just changing some parameters, or re-writing portions of the app. Then you have to test again to make sure what has changed didn't negatively effect something else. Lather-rinse-repeat.

(this is just one part of the process as I understand it, maybe someone who has actually done some development can elaborate more)

Depending on the size of the application, the complexity and what needs to be optimized, this process can take days, weeks or months. If new things are added, or things in the app are changed, the process starts over.

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Are the features still outstanding the kind of thing that are essentially plug-in modules that may be ready right now, in the Adobe labs, and don't really need much field testing?
I'm sure it would hard for anyone who would know that to answer that due to NDAs. At best we can speculate. From what I've read/heard along the way I know a new zoom level(s) are coming, it seems clear some toys from RSE are making their way in (sharpening/noise reduction anyone?), they might bring in cloning tools by the 1.0 release, selective edits (something they are certainly considering) probably wont make it until 2.0, importing will have some more added to it, and finally, a more robust system for managing the collection across numerous computers and hard drives (this includes collaboration efforts) is coming.

Most of these are not simply modules and effect the core of the application. Some are simpler than others to implement, some aren't. One of the things that can take time more than actually adding a feature is figuring out how that feature should be added and work both mechanically and aesthetically. Once something is set by 1.0, it's practically set for good (such as how the RSE additions will work with everything else, or how selective edits should be handled in the interface) or at the least it'll be difficult to change latter (they talk about this in the podcasts).

LR is supposed to be a simple, and intuitive application. That may sound like a simple and common sense thing to strive for but it can be extremely difficult to achieve the delicate balance between simplicity and functionality; a lesson I've learned in building and designing my website. I can only imaging how much more difficult an application would be. It's far easier to add a feature and throw it into a menu (ala Photoshop) than to take that feature and integrate it seamlessly into an interface that stays out of the way of the user yet is available and natural to use. The best designs are the ones you don't notice; which tend to be the ones that take the most time and effort to develop.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2006, 11:44:04 AM by 61Dynamic » Logged
John Camp
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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2006, 12:29:53 PM »
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I meant Aperture; "I believe its possible that Adobe released LR as a public beta in response to the release of Aperture," is what I was saying there.
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No, you meant Lightroom.  

The quote above isn't the one I was writing about -- it's the one below that, where you say, "And, I really don't see any way you could come to the conclusion that they are not enthused about making Aperture."

Your post and Schewe's pretty much cleared things up for me; as long as it's coming in some reasonable time frame, I can manage. I really don't want to shift to some other management software. I'm softwared-out.

JC
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2006, 07:48:32 PM »
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Ah- yes, well in that case you are right, I meant Lightroom.
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jani
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2006, 07:35:34 AM »
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As I said, I'm not a computer guy, so I'll ask you computer guys -- is optimizing for speed essentially a trivial task that can be done in a couple of weeks?
Generally speaking, no, it's not a trivial task if you do it as an afterthought.

Optimizing for performance (as well as code correctness) is a part of the software design process, just as designing features is.

In brief (and this may come across as an all-too-obvious statement):

If you make it easy to optimize for performance, it's easy to optimize for performance.

If the program is well designed, well commented, etc., this makes the job easier. The currently in-vogue term "refactoring" is relevant here.


Where does this place LR? I don't know, I haven't seen their code, and I'd be willing to bet that if I had, I wouldn't be allowed to comment on it. As an academic exercise, it sure would be interesting, though.
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