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Issue with sorting (cycling through pictures too soon)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:48 am
by mkanet
Ever since I purchased FastPictureViewer, I thought that the sorting feature was broken. However, I found out through trial and error that sorting does work ONLY IF I wait for several seconds for FastPictureViewer process sorting. If I try to cycle through pictures immediately after I open FastPictureViewer, I notice that the pictures are completely out of order; seems like random order.

There is only one way for me to tell when FastPictureViewer is ready cycle through picture in correct sort order.. I have to hover my mouse over top area and wait for the correct preview pictures to be displayed across the top.

A couple of solutions for this issue:
a. Have a progress bar after starting FastPictureViewer to show when it is ready to cycle through pictures.
b. Option to lock/prevent FastPictureView from cycling pictures until it is ready to cycle through picture with correct sort order.

Thank you for making the best/fastest picture viewer!!

Re: Issue with sorting (cycling through pictures too soon)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:45 pm
by Axel
FastPictureViewer scans the image folder (and all its subfolders, if enabled) immediately upon startup. Instead of having the user wait for the folder scan to complete before displaying the first image, it starts displaying as soon as a few files are discovered.

The file system returns files in immaterial order (they are not sorted in any meaningful way) and the program inserts the files at their actual place in its internal list, relative to the sort order in effect (name or time), as they are found.

The folder scan is very quick, in the order of 1,000-2,000 files per second on a fast computer. Now imagine that file 00000000.JPG (say it's the first overall in alphabetic order) is the last file on your hard drive, and say that you open said hard drive in FPV Pro.

Say there are 2,000 images on that drive and that FPV on your particular computer scans folders at 1,000 files per second. It will take a couple of seconds before file 00000000.JPG is discovered and FPV will have displayed something long before that moment.

One can say that the program display a partially ordered set of images during the initial discovery. The order certanily is not random, but you can think that there are "holes" in the list, that gets filled in as files are discovered. Only after all files have been found the order becomes total.

The folder scan and file discovery usually only takes a fraction of a second, unless the folder/subfolders contain many files or if the computer is slow. The program displays a "+" indicator next to the image count at the bottom-right while the file discovery is still active in the background.

Sorting on EXIF date or GPS time stamp makes the discovery slower than when sorting on file name or file date.

When starting the program on a particular file (e.g. by double-clicking the file in Explorer if FPV is set as the default viewer for that format) the program opens and displays that file immediately, and scans its siblings in parallel.

As soon as the scan is complete (the "+" sign is gone) you'll find that the file you clicked on it at its place within the whole list, according to the sort mode in effect within FPV.

If you open a folder and immediately click on the "Next" button, right after an image was displayed and before the folder scan is complete, the program will immediately move to the next image among those already discovered at the instant you clicked the button.

In some cases this may not be the same image as the one it would move to if you had clicked "Next" a fraction of a second later, after the discovery is complete and all found files are at their logical place in the ordered list.

Some programs maintains their own database of files (a "catalog") and can display files in various orders without waiting for discovery. On the other hand, FPV just displays what's in your folders and is never out of sync with your files, and there is no catalog to create, maintain, reindex, rebuild, repair or backup.

Re: Issue with sorting (cycling through pictures too soon)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:31 pm
by mkanet
Yes I figured out that's what's happening. I just wanted you to know that there may be more people than you think that have large collection of pictures. A simple progress bar or lock on image cycle option would address this issue and further add value/usability ease to fastpictureviewer. This added code wouldnt affect size or performance either. I would just make the application handle this issue for those of us with large picture collection. I know of several people who have large collection of images like me. One of my friends who has been into digital photography (taking pictures and collecting images) for over 15 yeats has >25000 images. It only took me 10 year have over 20000 images. As digital image photography matures, so does the size of peoples collections.

Re: Issue with sorting (cycling through pictures too soon)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:51 pm
by Axel
More clearly perhaps:

There is no way to make a progress bar because the total number of images that will be found is unknown. At the moment the program displays a running counter of images found so far, with an indicator telling there is more to come.

If you want to look at twenty thousand images at once, and want to see them in a particular order from the very first to the very last, then you can probably wait a few seconds for the program to finish enumerating them.

And for the record 20,000 is not that many: we test with 200,000 images and some customers (doing consumer behavioral studies for the largest retailer you can think of) are using FPV to browse "projects" of 400 to 500 thousand images.