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> Sort Order Changes - Unexpected Consequences
post Jan 21 2013, 09:05 AM
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Hi Peter,

I'm not sure how much help you can be with this one, so I'll just outline it as (if nothing else) a little cautionary tale about progress in general.

I am a photographer with roughly a million files archived. (That's not as many as it sounds: there are various generations of differently post-processed files in there, so often multiple files for each picture.)

Every file is named for the date and time - a picture taken right now at 11:30.05am on 21 Jan 2013 - would start with 130121-113005, for example. Various suffixes to that base filename indicate different things. An extra digit indicates multiple shots in the same second (pro cameras do 10 frames in a second); an added letter indicates what post-processing has been performed, and so on. The details of this system are not important here, the point is that (until recently!) PMView always sorted all these files in correct chronological order, including post-processed copies in their correct place, and everything was easy to find.

Alas, with the new alpha-numeric sorting algorithm since .. er .. since PMView 3.68, the files are mis-sorted! Like no longer sits next to like!

Secondly, there are the ordered selections of pictures I use to illustrate lectures: they are all long since sorted into the order I'm going to want them in when I speak (simple brute-force renaming has always perfect for this). By reviewing the pictures for a particular talk, seeing them in order again, I can quickly refresh my memory of a talk I have not delivered for a few years, and (if desired) slot in a few new pictures to update it (once again getting them in the right places by brute-force renaming). Now, of course, all my talks are semi-randomised!

Obviously, you are not going to reverse the recent change to PMView's sorting method, nor should you! In broad, it's a sensible and useful update.

But now I'm looking at hundreds of thousands of carefully archived photographs and thinking about the massive task of renaming them all simply because PMView switched to a different sort order system. I could probably automate a fair bit of it, but it will still take ... I don't know ... a LOT of work!

The alternative would be to downgrade back to old versions of PMView - not a sensible long-term policy.

Anyway, I'm not sure that there is anything you can do here, but I thought I'd spell out some major unintended consequences of an apparently trivial update!
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