Image management in KDE

Why can’t KDE have a **single** photo management solution? I’ve often been a proponent of the “Choice is Good (TM)” philosophy, but I have to admit, when it comes to image management in KDE (or Linux, in general), I really feel lost. For KDE to emerge as a strong contender in the desktop arena, it needs to be focused and tightly integrated. It needs to //endorse// SOME image management package. Let me talk briefly about the various tools available to give you an idea of the situation:

* [[|digikam]]: From the website //digiKam is a simple digital photo management application for KDE, which makes importing and organizing digital photos a “snap”. The photos can be organized in albums which can be sorted chronologically, by directory layout or by custom collections. An easy to use interface is provided that enables you to connect to your camera and preview, download and/or delete your images.// Digikam also includes its own photo viewer.
* [[|ShowImg]]: From the website //ShowImg is a feature-rich image viewer for KDE including an image management system. It is highly configurable and supports numerous image formats.//
* [[|KPhotoAlbum]]: This is basically a tool to help you tag your page (people, places, events, dates) and later, find them.
* [[|Gwenview]]: From the website — //Gwenview is a fast and easy to use image viewer for KDE.//
* [[|Several other]] [[|editors]], [[|viewers]] and [[|tools]]

So, what should I use? Digikam seems to be a one stop shop — capture, tag, search — all in one package. But why does it have its own viewer? Why can’t it just use ShowImg or Gwenview? Why doesn’t KPhotoAlbum integrate with Digikam? Why do they all have to use different backends? Why don’t //any// of them have built in support for flickr? [[|Kipi]] is great, but lets make it a strength and not a weakness. Don’t reinvent the wheel for routine tasks — instead, fill in the niches.

I actually feel bad about ranting like this, in case someone is about to suggest that “this is open source, if its your itch, you should scratch it”. I would, except that I don’t have the time/skill/experience to get into image management/editing at this point. Even the GNOME world is not much better. There is F-Spot, GPhoto, GQview, GThumb and plethora of others.

So KDE folks, try to streamline KDE’s image mangement offerings in time for KDE4 — it will go a long way in making it the best desktop ever!

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