frustration with culling mode

I assume: Culling mode is for culling (= rating) pictures. Throwing lot’s of pictures away (rejecting), keeping and rating the others. Culling mode does many things right, but it strangely fails at one delicate task - to deliver confidence and fidelity about the question what image you’re actually rejecting/rating!

When I use culling mode, I typically set the filter to “not rated only” and select a subset of pictures which are similar, then switch to culling mode. I then enjoy the good overview of the images, compare them, if needed zoom to details and compare those. When I decided what image to reject/keep, I execute the decision by pressing r/1/2/etc. Rated and rejected images disappear until I finished the set.

The problem is: While it works in many cases as expected, inevitably when working through larger sets of images, in between you notice you didn’t just rate the one image you intended to. But instead the complete set of pictures that were displayed at the same time.

When this happens (and you notice it), you have to switch back to lightroom mode and adjust the filter to “all pictures”, re-rate the pictures, switch back to culling mode, reset the filter, until it happens again. After a while I’m frustrated and stop doing this tedious work…

My questions: Has this been identified as a problem which is going to be fixed? I found a FR (in my mind, it’s a bug) which has been open for quite a while, it seems to be not an issue for many. What is your workflow? How can I prevent this from happening?

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To prevent, you need to take care of the selection and how it works. I agree that this is annoying but it’s not a bug (a bug is a not wanted behavior ; here it’s a way to act on images choosed some time ago). To be clear, I disagree with actual choice but it was wanted. FR you point to is not the good one to check even if this one remains interesting. What you point is not about culling but a direct consequence of that issue (no consensus had been found, unfortunately): Images to Act On - How Should It Work? · Issue #6025 · darktable-org/darktable · GitHub

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Thank You that you took the time to respond.

You say, I should take care about the selection. I can only try to convince you that I do. Unsuccessfully, but I do. Typically by placing the mouse over the image I’d like to rate and then pressing the according button. “Taking care about the selection” in this context means for me that I make sure the mouse is actually hovering over the correct image and not somewhere else. This I do for sure. But sometimes still all the images displayed on screen are rated instead. My experience and assumption is two-fold: First, if I am too fast with my actions, it can happen that the program has not yet registered the mouse to be over the image, in spite of the fact it is. And secondly, if I rate the first image in a row (and it disappears, as I only display unrated images), images are re-arranged as expected and another image appears under the mouse-cursor. If I don’t move the mouse at all, darktable assumes no image is hovered over. I have to wiggle the mouse a bit (move it) to make it notice the new image under the cursor.

So to sum up - it’s a real pain, because I have to be extra slow to make the program “catch up” with my actions, wiggle the mouse a bit, and still it happens regularly that I rate a bunch of pictures incorrectly. It’s just a horrible user-experience. You don’t want to know how much time I already wasted with this…

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I avoid accidentally rating multiple images by paying very close attention to the line displaying the number of currently selected images (x images selected of y).

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I can see that this could be a real problem… FWIW I don’t use culling mode for culling… I usually use the full screen preview and use the right and left arrows to step through and the number keys to rate. I’m not suggesting this is a solution, just sharing what I do :grinning:

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Thank You all for the different input. It appreciated, because it helps me find an alternative mode of operation. This will be needed, as I think this is not regarded a problem and therefore will not be fixed.

Still, if some dev is reading this: My easy suggestion about how to fix this would be to make the image selection algorythm configurable. If I could disable the image selection type “all pictures displayed on the screen” that would fix the problem for me.

Well, the current behaviour was a design choice. As such, it’s not a bug. That means changing the behaviour may very well annoy others who depend on that particular behaviour. Also, a proposed change may look “easy to implement” for the user, but in fact be very hard (for various reasons) to do correctly.

Oh, and did you follow the link @Nilvus posted? It may be of interest to you…

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Yes I did follow the link - it’s very interesting and fits my problem perfectly, as it contains an intense discussion exactly about the topic and design choices I criticize in my post.

My suggestion for resolution would not break things for other users or annoy them. Because it would just introduce an option for adapting the image selection mechanism. If you wouldn’t toggle and use this option, nothing would change for you. Apart from that, how difficult that would be to implement, I cannot tell of course.

The discussion which was linked by @Nilvus shows that this specific selection mechanism has been a problem not for just me, but for several users (countless discussions/FR/bug-reports are linked to the thread). I read in the notes that there has even been already developer activity to fix this, but hasn’t been approved/completed yet. So I guess one just has to wait until it annoys more users and then at some point it will be finally fixed. :pray:t2:

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@airflow I agree with you about the fact that actual way could be a pain and that what I suggest is not always easy. It’s just the only actual way to deal with. And I also agree with your above statement and I hope this will change with a more classic way. But when a design choice is made and exist since some time, it’s not so easy to change it. Even if someone propose the code to change that, some will love the change and others will be against the change. Habits are on both sides, hard to change.