Devs - How Hard Would It Be To............?

RT’s “basic” modules are standard and well understood by moderately experienced users and are put in clearly marked tabs by their general function. The more specialized ones are in separate tabs; they complement some basic functions like contrast and color tuning by using a different technology, but they are not replacements/duplicates for them.

There are way fewer modules in RT compared to dt and RT doesn’t carry along all its obsolete and deprecated modules that only muddy and complicate the learning curve. It’s much easier to learn!

Not just compat mode. I’m talking about shims:

These are shipped with Windows, overwrite file system access, replace libraries, patch over individual function calls, and much more. It’s crazy stuff.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a software to maintain ability to process it’s old operations and ordering.

That said, then there’s also a user responsibility to comprehend these differences over time. I regularly go to open-source* renditions I made years ago, and the first thing I usually do is to change out the processing toolchain to what I currently use to go forward with a new rendition. For example, early rawproc relied on dcraw to do the operations up to demosaic; that still works, but I don’t prefer to perpetuate it…

*open-source: In rawproc, renditions (e.g., JPEGs) have the source file name and the processing toolchain stored in the metadata; when rawproc finds such, it asks if you want to open the rendition, or open the source and apply the toolchain. The latter choice is “open-source”; there’s also a menu selection for it.


This is an interesting discussion but I think you are getting too stuck in your positions. As often happens the truth is a compromise, so continue developing the software (whatever it is) trying to improve usability. Just my opinion.
Regards. Roberto.


I have no ‘position’ on this whatseoever — just offering some insight as someone who’s learned the hard way.

And they ARE BOTH evils. There are no right or wrong answers to this — even a ‘compromise’ is far from an ideal solution, if you think about it logically (everyone has their own opinion of what a ‘fair’ compromise is).

Personally, I’m just forever thankful for everyone who has selflessly given up their own free time to produce all of this extraordinary free software — without whom, there would be no debate, no, (and, for me at least, no camera in my camera bag and a lot less happiness in my life).

This argument is invalid: Let's compare: dt vs. RawTherapee


I will say this, however: this really is an interesting debate, and it’s given me a great idea for an article!

Many of the responses, here, have really helped me appreciate the dilema from both a developer and user perspective - there have been some really excellent cases put forward right across the board!

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Mea culpa, sorry, I’m not a good writer or good debater! I should have made it clear that I wasn’t referring to the most common, least technical basic modules like crop, rotate, basic exposure, etc. but to the more esoteric ones that mostly deal with color in one way or another.

Even so, that is beside the core of my fuss: due to a totally arbitrary decision dt has acquired a significant amount of unnecessary and even harmful bloat that has greatly degraded its usability, and is on a path to acquire more and more into the future. Even without the bloat dt would be a difficult piece of software but the bloat is just making it worse.

Every operating system and every program in existence could be 100% compatible with all previous versions if users were willing to make the required compromises. dt’s powers-that-be have decided that dt will be and that users will have to adjust, period, end of discussion. Thankfully the developers are doing their best to mitigate the damage with various UI changes but as long as it is on this path dt will never be the lean mean machine it could be, it won’t have the ease of use, the accessibility to all that it could have had. The price of admission will remain very high.

OK, that’s the way it is. A pity. I’ve made my rant and am done.

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I’m playing with Darktable, and my verdict after a week

Hmm, yes. Well that instantly turns the rest of this discussion to mush. Would you expect to be able to judge Photoshop after a week of laying eyes on it? Any other pretty advanced piece of software? Why would you even …


You keep repeating this point. Could you elaborate which modules you encounter that feel like bloat and which you find cumbersome in terms of usability? This would strengthen your argument.

What do you mean by that? This seems somehow very paradoxical to me.

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So I think Darktable is good the way it is!

Please don’t change it just because someone who doesn’t even use it criticizes it.

I find the new modules for the scene referred workflow (filmic, tone-equalizer, …) a bit difficult for beginners to understand. But you don’t have to use them because the old display referred ones still work fine. That way you can get used to it little by little. And finally, there are plenty of ways to organize the modules.

I think the GUI takes a little getting used to at first, but once you understand it, there is nothing better.

Imagine how different things would be today if MS, Apple, et al relied upon this method of updating instead of doing clean sheet redesigns from time to time! Yuck.

Is this statement true or not? Except for the usability part which you will undoubtedly disagree with since you know dt inside out.

It means what it says. It’s plain English using little words.

just to avoid further confusion. thanatomaniac is a rawherapee dev, not a dt dev/user.


I would just lock this thread. It is only going to spiral into the Backfire Effect.


I read the article about the Backfire Effect - i don’t believe it.

There is a lua script that lets you open up to 9 external editors… I use it with Affinity Photo…


I would still like to see an answer to this question. You’ve dodged it over and over. Get specific.

You’re mistaken, I have been using dt from time to time for the last 3 years or so usually when I’m not satisfied with the results from other software on a given photo. It’s just not my go-to program because any of the raw developers I currently use (DxO, C1, RT, RT-ART) can produce just as nice a result as dt in less time and with less effort IF the light is good and IF the picture is properly exposed with no large areas of highlight burnout. That makes dt the program of last resort when my limited set of skills aren’t capable of getting what I want from any of the others.

dt has an incredible feature set that is very difficult to master (I haven’t), will everyone agree on that? dt developers have made a lot of efforts to make dt easier to navigate by grouping relevant modules together (like the scene-referred, display-referred, etc.) and that has helped a lot. I was just throwing out the suggestion to clean house in the interest of making dt’s interface less complex and the program faster to use and easier to maintain, usually a good thing to do.

It sounded like a win-win to me but obviously the downside of doing that wasn’t palatable to many of the people in this forum. I apologize, it wasn’t my intention to upset anyone.


Seems like as good a place as any to end this.