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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy



Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy
Posted by: Jack M. Germain 2012-12-12 05:44:04
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Fotoxx sounds more like a medical solution to fix a patient's physical appearance. It applies that concept to injecting tweaks on your photographic images. The results are impressive.
This photo editing kit has a look and feel that separates it from the expected approaches taken by the likes of Gimp and Krita, for instance. Fotoxx is geared toward photo enhancement; it's not meant to be an editing fix for other types of graphical images. If the bulk of what you use a photo editor to do is make photos look better, Fotoxx is worthy of a try. A quick comparison with your current photo editor could bring pleasant surprises.


Maybe you could modify your reported info that you have written about Fotoxx being abandoned.

Fotoxx has been continuously developed over the last 5 years.

The last release was January 1 and the next release is planned for Feb 1.

Please visit the Fotoxx home page to learn more:
http://www.kornelix.com/fotoxx.html

JR

Jack,

Here are a few corrections and additions to your review of Fotoxx. I don't expect or ask that you publish this, but you should be aware of your errors and omissions. Fotoxx is a complex application, requiring considerable time to read the user guide and get used to its unconventional ways. This is a problem for reviewers that may not have enough time or interest to be very thorough. You may also have used a fairly old version of Fotoxx. The following report of discrepancies in your review are based on the latest version of Fotoxx.

1. The developer has not abandoned it. Release 12.12 came out on Dec. 1 and release 13.01 will come out in January.

2. I provide DEB and RPM packages for Debian/Ubuntu and derivatives, and for Fedora. Many distros package Fotoxx but these are generally months or years behind. You are right that I refuse to take the time to make many distro specific packages, each following different rules and policies. That would be a lifetime project in itself. There is no technical reason for this chaos and it is a crying shame that it is not fixed. I also provide a source package and instructions on how to compile it.

3. What is missing to make Fotoxx a "fully functional photo organizer"? It has collections (aka "views"), metadata edit and report, fast image search using any available data, and geotag editing and searching. You can search photos by location with a mouse click and the response is nearly instantaneous. You can add tags (keywords) that are also searchable. All of this is standards compliant and the data can be shared with other photo apps if they are also standards compliant. Editing collections is indeed too clumsy, but this is about to improve.

4. The website is http://www.kornelix.com/fotoxx. The e-mail address in the Help menu and in the user guide is correct and I do answer my mail.

5. The dialog windows remember their positions with respect to the parent window. You do not have to move them out of the way with every use.

6. Fotoxx has invisible scroll bars. You drag the mouse across the image instead of the scroll bars. You can drag diagonally too, a hard trick with scroll bars. You can drag a zoomed image from top left to bottom right with one sweep of the mouse. For those who want to work slower, there is also a "web like" scroll option, whereby the image "sticks" to the mouse and moves with it.

7. I cannot understand your take on opening files. The intent here is to click the gallery thumbnails. The gallery navigates to any directory, so if you want to use thumbnails to find the image to open, it is not hard. You certainly do not have to look through long lists of file names.

8. The crop function is called "Trim". This is better for most people whose mother language is not English. For them, "crop" is an agricultural product.

9. I am lost to understand your problems with cropping.
+ select the crop menu
+ the margins are dimmed and dotted lines show the crop edges
+ drag any corner of the dotted line to change the margins
+ press the [apply] button
It is not that different from other photo apps.

10. I did not understand your problems with resizing. You can dial-in any size you want, or you can choose to reduce by ratios like 1/2, 1/3 ... You can keep the aspect ratio or allow this to change.

regards
Mike Cornelison

Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy
Posted by: sicofante 2012-12-13 21:58:57 In reply to: kornelix
In Ubuntu you should create a PPA. Most of its users expect applications to autoupgrade because independent developers use that mechanism. I don't think it's too hard and would highly improve your exposure too.

If that's too much to ask, at least Fotoxx should offer the option for automatic update availability checking. You don't expect users to go to your website every month to check for updates, do you?

Just to let you know. I installed the official repository version in Ubuntu 12.04 and found a number of annoying things (like my disk being littered with hidden thumbnails or the inhability to prevent Fotoxx from showing hidden folders in the gallery). I will give your app another try now that I downloaded the latest version. Let me tell you that the new approach to reach the gallery is awful. It took me a good 15 minutes to detect those tiny tabs on the left with an "F" and a "G" (I still don't know that the "F" is for. "File?" Really?).

This is definitely a weird application from an UI point of view, and very geeky overall, but I'm willing to test it a bit more, because the tools look very interesting.

I suggest you invest some time reading about UI design and how important it is to keep some consistency with the desktop environment you're developing for. You might end up creating a killer photography app.

Nice to know the development hasn't stopped, by the way.

Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy
Posted by: kornelix 2012-12-13 22:27:21 In reply to: sicofante
The UI is deliberately different. RTFM at least the first few pages.

Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy
Posted by: sicofante 2012-12-14 16:13:01 In reply to: kornelix
I see. This is SYOIS (Scratch Your Own Itch Sofware).

There's a rule of thumb about usability (not just for software): if the user needs a manual, your design is wrong.

Only really complicated professional software should require a manual (and even then, the less a manual is needed, the better the design is). Casual use software should NEVER require one.

Of course no rules apply to SYOIS.

Thanks and good luck.

Re: Fotoxx Is a Bright Photo Editing Adolescent but Its Future Is Iffy
Posted by: jackmgerm 2012-12-12 14:00:27 In reply to: kornelix
Hi Mike,

I'm sorry if we seem to be on different pages regarding my review of your Fotoxx application. The website you mentioned in your comment is one of the websites I mentioned in the review. When you try to go there, you get a "page not found" result. That is the same web site listed in the software center in the two Linux distros I used for installing Fotoxx and in the product's help menu as well.

When I review a product, I always look for the latest available version knowing that distro repositories are often behind the curve. I even mentioned that fact in a few recent reviews. The version I reviewed is 12.01.2; this is the last available version anywhere in the hit list from a web search I conducted to find later releases. Some of the download spots are much older versions. I did searches for "Fotoxx download" when I first set up the review. Most of the hits led to dead locations, including the site you identified as the home page. None of them brought me to any web site that had a later version than what I installed from the repository in two distros.

Using the version number that you provided in your comment, a direct search for Fotoxx 12.12 brought me to a few websites that had it. But the download options do not negate my original comments. One package in .deb format for an older Ubuntu version and a tar.gz (tarball) version is available that requires decompression and manual compiling and installation. So the latest version when you can find it still is not distro friendly.

Based on a quick scanning of product descriptions and updated feature lists for Fotoxx 12.12, I see nothing that touches on the user quirks I mentioned in today's review. I'm glad that you are maintaining Fotoxx. I had some positive things to say about it. Hopefully, our discussion will make the latest version easier to find for those who want to try it out. Best wishes for its continued development.

The fotoxx home page is kornelix.com/fotoxx. DEB and RPM packages are also available there, and are generally months or years newer than what the distros carry. I think you must have used a fairly old release. Much of what you stated is no longer true or never was true. I invite you to try out the latest version 12.12.
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