digiKam 5.5.0 is released
Dear digiKam fans and users,
Following the 5th release 5.4.0 published in January 2017, the digiKam team is proud to announce the new release 5.5.0 of digiKam Software Collection. As 5.4.0, this version introduces again several improvements in database interface.
This time, Mario Frank has significantly improved the threads management done in background to prevent an overload of the computer under intensive workload by batch processing of items. The maintenance now does not generate massive amounts of threads anymore. Instead, we use a queue based approach to level the load on the CPUs more appropriately. This should improve the re-activeness during maintenance.
He has also improved the similarity tool again by tunning the exactness of similarity recognition for external images dropped in fuzzy search. He also introduced a configurable lower bound for the minimum similarity in fuzzy and duplicates search as too low similarity values may make digiKam non-responsive. Also, the results of duplicates searches can now be restricted to the ones that are in the same album as the reference image or in another album. This feature is also usable in maintenance tool. Again, the reference image is more clearly identified by the description reference image in the image information in duplicates view.
Furthermore, he implemented a garbage collection for the digiKam databases. The application is now able to identify stale database objects (like deleted images, not used thumbnails and face identities) and to remove them. This garbage collection is a stage of the maintenance.
Cleaning the stale (deleted) images from database can also be configured as startup-job. For SQLite, digiKam is now also able to shrink the database files. This is only done if the database files are not corrupted. For MySQL, the database shrinking support is currently deactivated as some necessary database commands cannot be used properly for the moment.
A student named Ahmed Fathi, has implemented a few enhancements in the batch queue manager Watermark tool. It is now possible to set the size of watermarks, adjust margin sizes, customize the text font, apply rotation manually, and respect orientation of image automatically. He also fix some dysfunctions when a watermark is placed over the image in special conditions.
Another contributor, Jan Wolter, has maintained, adapted, and finalized a patch since a very long time. This patch have been initially proposed for digiKam 4.x, and introducing a very important feature around the database: the ability to ignore some kind of directories while scanning collections. For example, NAS storage includes technical folders in collections used by the device, whose contents we don't want to include in database... for nothing. So, these new settings will be used while scanning collection to bypass these data and make the database registration process more efficient. Which kind of directories are to be ignored can be configured in the database section of the configuration.
Wolfgang Scheffner continue to works on the human digiKam handbook. He has updated again the contents for your pleasure to discover the photo management application in details. This time he update the Geolocation sections, as Correlator, Map view, and GPS editor. He has also give serious feedback to developers in minds to simplify the graphical interface, or to fix settings layout to be more comprehensive by end users. Simon Frei, after some long talks with Wolfgang, implement all remarks and patched the geolocation correlator interface to improve the ergonomy.
Maik Qualmann works… everywhere, in goal to kill a lot of small but important usability entries in bugs database. He spent a lot of time on improving code elsewhere in digiKam core for better readability for future students who will work with us while this summer. He manage report and users mailing list to ask if reports still valid with pre-release versions published as bundles, and kill redundant entries already reported in the past.
Face Management have also been improved a little bit about usability. It is now possible to remove face tags from people sidebar but preserve them in tags sidebar. Also, the recognized but unconfirmed faces are now visible both in the recognized face tags and also in a special tag called Unconfirmed. The list of proposed names have been improved too. For name assignment in people sidebar, you can now limit the recommendation list to face tags with a setup option. Finally, tags listed in the tags sidebar can now be marked as face tags via context menu if they are not already.
This new digiKam version also includes latest libraw 0.18.2, whose release coincided with the digiKam release schedule. This version of the raw decoder includes some new Raw camera supported and some fixes about Fuji and Sony camera decoding. The amount of RAW camera supported is about 931 models.
For furher information, take a look at the list of more than 100 issues closed in Bugzilla.
digiKam software collection source code tarball, Linux 32/64 bits AppImage bundles, MacOS package, and Windows 32/64 bits installers can be downloaded from this repository