[Suggestion] Unifying unit numbers

Hi :slight_smile:

Few days ago I was reading some comments on DP Review comparing different software and got surprised when somebody wrote that darktable is clunky and hard tu use in terms of UI.

Since 2.4 I’ve been using it with ease and I’m able to run through my edits like a breeze, notwithstanding, there is one thing I think darktable could learn from other programs.

Now we have so different scaling in numbers we put in modules, i.e.

  • solid “big” numbers e.g. in Color Balance RGB, when the difference between 1-2% is barely noticeable
  • small numbers, e.g. in White Balance or Perspective Correction, where we have a zero or one and three digits after the comma; small changes making big difference
  • even in the Colour Balance RGB itself sometimes we have a range of correction from -50 to +50, sometimes from -100 to +100 or from zero to 50 / 20 / 10%

I especially like to enter number values manually in Perspective Correction, but I catch myself of creating a dramatic effect because I forgot one zero after the comma (because the previous action was putting solid number of 6 in another module :wink: )

Could it be possible to unify the scale, so I could be happily entering integers (almost) everywhere?

This isn’t surprising, as it gets repeated a lot. Ask those people what they mean and what they would specifically improve. Most don’t actually know and are just repeating what they heard or they’re very angry because their cousin’s friend’s brother’s dog told them darktable is a 1:1 replacement for light room, which is not true.


Well, sure. You’re right.

That’s why I hope my suggestion is substantive and of some useful value.

I have never treated darktable as free 1:1 Lightroom, read the manuals, blog entries and so on.
I just would be more than happy to get that one update mentioned above :wink:

The maths says no.

Some of these numbers are related to real-life stuff that you can measure with hardware sensors (like lightmeters) and their GUI should match those readings.

Some of these numbers weigh more heavily on some part of the luminance range, and it’s impossible to make clean, theoritically-sound, equivalences between the effect of the shadows and highlights cursors. That would be achieved by moving the algorithms to perceptual color perception models, which are unsuitable for all optically-defined operations.

Some of these numbers need to interface with standard algorithms (like ASC CDL) and the values should be transferable as-is, so the GUI black magic is prohibited there.

People should stick to camera’s JPEG. You will not make them happy by dumbing down the GUI, their problem is in their assumption that photography is easy while darktable is not. Photography is fucking difficult and darktable is transparent on that. So let them live in denial and fool themselves into thinking that HSL is a color appearance model and owning 10 k€ worth of equipment makes them photographers. They will be forever customers trapped into what their commercial pre-dumbed tools allow them to do without having to think about it.


It sounds really well justified :slight_smile:
Cannot disagree, especially with not touching those modules responsible for tone & colour manipulation.

Maybe one day just a little piece of my dream comes true with the lens correction module :slight_smile: It is greatly useful, I like it, perhaps it’s allowed to change the scale of numbers (I hope “scale” is a proper term).

Holding Ctrl or Shift while you mousewheel will change the units.

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Oh, dear :flushed: I was not aware of it.

Maybe not the unit itself, but the step increment, hmm.

Now I remember: I used that + arrow keys (instead of mouse wheel) when I was crafting my custom base curve so looong ago (stil big fan of it, by the way haha :wink: )

It’s a good refresher nonetheless, thank you. Maybe I’ll switch to that instead of right click & typing.