Back in February I switched my primary system from KDE to Gnome (as part of switching to the IBM standard Linux client). There are many things I miss from KDE (I find Konqueror to be far superior to Nautilus and the KDE window manager to be much more useful than Metacity), but the biggest loss was KPhotoAlbum. For about a year I had been using it to categorize my pictures and I had nearly completed the task (or, at least, the first pass).
In theory, I could install and use KPhotoAlbum within Gnome, but so much baggage (basically, all of KDE) comes along with it that I’ve resisted doing so. I’ve figured I would find a replacement, but so far I really haven’t found anything that allows the level of control that I found in KPhotoAlbum. Recently I decided that whatever I end up using would need to support IPTC keywords, both reading and updating. I took the existing XML file saved by KPhotoAlbum and wrote a Perl script to go through and apply the categories to the images as IPTC keywords. It took some effort, but I also figured out how to get these keywords loaded into the Tag plug-in for Gallery2. The result is that it is now possible to search my Gallery2 album by tags and even view a Tag Cloud of the tags.
I have customized the code for the tag cloud display a bit, but I’m not quite happy with it yet. One of the changes I plan to make is to exclude tags below a certain threshold. At the very least, I think I will exclude tags that are only used once. Something that I haven’t really put much thought into but I think would be interesting is if the arrangement of the tags had more significance. Currently, they are simply in alphabetical order. I think an interesting arrangement might be to have tags close to each other if they are used together frequently. Perhaps start with the most used tag and then surround it with all of the tags that it is most frequently associate with and continue thusly. Any unlinked tags would then be used as the starting point for the next group. Calculating this arrangement dynamically (as the current code does) may be too slow, so it might need to be a static arrangement that is rebuilt periodically.
I still haven’t decided whether I should bite the bullet and install KPhotoAlbum to continue my tagging, or find something else that is effective.