How do I obtain current, correct documentation?

I’ve been using darktable for a few months, now. Sometimes, I want to dig into the documentation to find specific information about a module or a process, etc. But, to me, the documentation can be confusing.

The online documentation only says it is for version 3.0, but the current “production” version of the software is 3.2.1. It seems that several people here are using even newer versions. Is the online documentation for 3.0 or 3.2.1? If the online docs are not for 3.2.1, how do I get the 3.2.1 documentation? Is it on GITHub?

Another question I have is about the dichotomy in darktable concerning non-linear LAB processing modules vs linear RGB processing modules. I do not see anything in the docs that specifically states which modules are which. Since this is important to processing order, I would like to have a reference that states it, clearly.

Short answer: There is no up-to-date documentation for 3.2.1 at the moment. The current 3.0 version is the best there is for now.

One of the goals for the 3.4 release this coming Christmas is the documentation.

I know that @paperdigits and @elstoc are hard at work to get this done. Maybe either of those two (or someone else involved) can shed a bit more light on this and the progress that is being made.


Maybe this article will help to get you started.

It touches, and mentions specifically, many modules. Pros, cons, Lab or RGB and alternatives if one is Lab and you want/need to use a RGB version.

Long read but an essential one (my 2c) if you are working in linear RGB.

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Yes, I have read that article. It does present some of what I was asking about, but in an almost haphazard way. I was asking whether there is a more organized way of knowing for each module.

I will re-read that article and try to make my own list of linear RGB modules, and assume that all the others are LAB.

I have also dedicated quite a lot of time to work on the documentation. You can follow the progress here:

Also Bruce William has written the doc for two loved modules !


Yes, it is part of the github repository. You can build the manual from source (git master). This is my way to get the most recent version of the documentation. There was much activity updating the manual last weeks.

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For the LAB vs RGB modules, in fact, the order is not important, as their default place in the processing pipeline should be the correct one. And don’t forget that in whatever order you activate those modules, their place in the pipeline does not change.
So, it only matters if you want to move the modules manually.
Aside of that, Aurelien’s article is more a list of modules that work well in a RGB workflow. But nothing prevents you to use LAB modules if it allows you to reach your visual goal and artistic taste.

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The problem is not so much Lab in itself, but using a blur in Lab space (or any other scene-referred, non-linear color space). And that happens in quite a few modules “under the hood”, notably “shadows and highlights” and the tone-mapping modules, but also “sharpen”, “high-pass” and “low-pass”, …

And let’s not forget that we were able to get decent results before the linear workflow came along, though with (quite a bit) more effort, perhaps.

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Thanks for reminding me. I already knew that, but my intuition keeps overriding the knowledge. :wink:

@Tim I built one a couple of weeks ago after I noted some significant updates…its posted in the files section on the DT FB page…