Replace Shotwell (was F-Spot) with Solang?

Robert Ancell robert.ancell at
Thu May 20 08:04:16 BST 2010

Some points that were in favour of Shotwell:
- Already packaged in Ubuntu Universe (i.e. it has good user exposure)
- Full-time developer resource (Yorba)
- Very fast load and browsing speed

Shotwell does not have all the functionality we want before it will 
replace F-Spot, but we are tracking the missing features here:
These features will probably be complete by Shotwell 0.7 (in time for 

Some points about Solang:
- Solang requires tracker to be installed by default and currently it 
isn't.  I believe we don't use tracker currently due to performance 
- There was no-one pushing Solang in the UDS session
- No Lucid package
- Don't seem to be able to install the dependencies in Lucid to build Solang

I went into this session expecting to push the "wait and see" approach 
but was swayed by the feedback about Shotwell and the frustration with 


On 20/05/10 15:58, Danny Piccirillo wrote:
> I'm forwarding this to the ubuntu-desktop list to see if they can
> point out why Shotwell was chosen over Solang, and whether it is too
> late to change this decision or postpone the change until Maverick+1
> On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 17:28, Laco Gubík<lacogubik at>  wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I would like to see this discussion by myself, but I cannot find.
>> Maybe it will appear here [1] in following days.
>> In terms off holding it until Maverick+1, I think that Canonical
>> considers non-LTS releases more like development releases, where they
>> do not mind if something is suboptimal. So they prefer to do changes
>> striaght after LTS release, so there is time to polish it until next
>> LTS. (On the other hand we have seen changes with significant impact
>> also in LTS, so one never know.).
>> Regards
>> Laco
> On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 13:28, Danny Piccirillo
> <danny.piccirillo at>  wrote:
>> 2010/5/15 Marco Laverdière<marco.laverdiere at>:
>>>> Also, there were specific reasons as to why Shotwell isn't ready, but
>>>> for Solang it was just, yeah this isn't ready either. What
>>>> specifically would you like to see in Solang for it to be considered
>>>> ready?
>>>   For me, wheher it is Solang (hypothetically) or Shotwell (as announced), a
>>> decent replacement for F-Spot should provide the following:
>>> - continuity for the regular Ubuntu/F-Spot user, i.e. ability to import
>>> F-Spot tags easily, whether from F-Spot database or from pictures XMP
>>> embedded metadata (ideally, F-Spot tag hierarchy should also be preserved,
>>> i.e. for people, place, event. etc.);
>> This would be ideal, but i don't see this happning in time for
>> Maverick. If people see this as a requirement it might be better to
>> hold off until Maverick +1
>>> -beign able to embed tags in file, preferably in XMP or otherwise, in IPTC;
>> I believe this is possible, but someone should verify
>>> - same (or almost) set of basic editing functions than F-Spot;
>> F-Spot needed editing capabilities added if i remember correctly,
>> while this has been part of the solang vision from the beginning.
>>> - same level of integration with other graphics/imaging  Ubuntu/Gnome apps,
>>> like with Gimp and Eye of GNOME (F-Spot allows the user to switch nicely to
>>> Gimp for advanced editing; EOG allows the user to open the viewed picture
>>> with F-Spot, etc.).
>> For starters, Solang uses Tracker. From amano on
>> "Solang is a C++ photo editor that does't use a complicated Database
>> for importing and exporting and should be more intuitive for new
>> users. I might try to create a discspace vs. RAM usage vs. feature vs.
>> usability overview by the weekend. I hate the tendency of F-Spot to
>> duplicate pictures on your harddisk (original location, ~/Photo folder
>> and inside the database as well). If there are thousands of pictures
>> to be imported, you might easily run out of disk space. And database
>> corruptions/confusions are not impossible as well.
>> For now I can offer this video review of the Vala based Shotwell:
>> It is database driven and doesn't recognize if you added new files to
>> one of your photo folders (same for F-Spot). Thus new photos have to
>> imported manually which can be tiresome. The C++ based Solang uses
>> Tracker 0.8 to check the photo folders and SPARQL is used to gain
>> access to the meta information about the photos. This approach looks
>> perfectly sane but with its current version 0.4.1 it lacks the option
>> to crop and resize files
>> ( which
>> is rather a "must have" since the removal of the GIMP (given that the
>> simple-image-management blueprint doesn't bring to life a 'simple
>> scan' for image editing). On the other hand it is developed at a rapid
>> pace and those options might be included by the maverick feature
>> freeze. To get a sensible decision in favor of Solang the authors
>> should be contaced first. Shotwell on the other hand is not too
>> different from F-Spot but is developed faster and performs better than
>> the current default."
>>> In other words, let's avoid a regression here...
>> Agreed. I say we should hold off the change until Maverick +1 and plan
>> on working to make Solang a good fit.
>> --
>> .danny
>> ☮♥Ⓐ -
>> Every (in)decision matters.

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