Lightroom: Integrate Library & Develop Modules

  • 27
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
The idea is to eliminate mode-dependent keystrokes and menus; make the library filter available whilst developing; be able to select the next photo for development from a folder or a thumbnail grid, instead of a one-line filmstrip or a collection; make the before-after comparison available while reviewing in the "library"; have the clipping indicators be available for quick-develop; be able to view photo-info/metadata in mid-develop; be able to do relative adjustments (quick develop) or absolute while developing; ...etc...; and last but certainly not least: eliminate mode-switching/re-rendering lag.

Many people have preconceived notions of what this integration would entail. Some assume the contents of the develop panels would just be dumped in with the library panels. But, there are many other possibilities.

Summary, by way of example:
If Adobe could find a way to change:

"Lets see, I'm in the Library Mode, so '\' will do the filters, not the before-after view...", and
"I want to make relative adjustments in bulk, so I need to switch to library module", ...
"and now that I want to develop again, I have to wait 'X' seconds for a re-rendering..."

'\' is for lib filters, '/' is for before-after.
Click 'Relative' for relative adjustments, click again for absolute.
No waiting anymore for mode switching / re-rendering...

Many of us would be grateful...

PS - If the ACR caching were more effective, the smaller switching lag would be more bearable, but that's only part of the problem...

Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 370 Reply Likes

Posted 7 years ago

  • 27
Photo of john beardsworth

john beardsworth

  • 925 Posts
  • 170 Reply Likes
Let Adobe do it if they've got time on their hands! Otherwise, the problem is completely overstated.
Photo of TK


  • 531 Posts
  • 108 Reply Likes
Rob, you make some good points. I agree that mode-dependent keyboard shortcuts should be avoided in general.

However, I don't think there is a big GUI problem at the moment. The biggest issue for me are module switching lags. Module switches should be as much a "workspace swap" as possible, i.e., there shouldn't be any lags caused by re-renderings, for example.

Once such lags are eliminated, your requirement of "be able to view photo-info/metadata in mid-develop" would be addressed, wouldn't it? I don't see a problem in quickly using "E", then make the metadata changes, and then use "D" again, as long as the transition doesn't take longer than swapping out the panels.

One thing that bugs me about the Develop module is that I cannot flick through images as quickly as I can in the Library mode. I don't like to switch to the Library mode for quicker navigation. However, I somewhat see the rationale for why image switching doesn't work as quickly in the Develop module. When you develop an image you need the best possible view of it and producing that takes a bit of time. Entering the Develop module implies the commitment to invest that time.

I would appreciate anything that could be done to avoid unnecessary re-renderings (e.g., a switch from Develop to Library and back need not involve a rendering at all) but the whole matter isn't as easy as simply asking for two modules to be combined into one. Currently each modules focuses on a particular task and is optimised for that. That counts for something too. I think all we should be asking for is to make transitions between modules/workspaces as quick/painless as possible.

BTW, it should not be necessary to switch to the Library module to enforce the rendering of previews so that they are instantly available in the Develop module (I sometimes develop several images in sequence and when I step through them in the Develop module, I first see the unedited version for a moment until the final rendering kicks in; a visit to the Library module fixes this preview-cache-update problem).
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 370 Reply Likes
One of my least popular sayings is:

"The UI doesn't matter (except when you're learning)".

In other words, after a while it becomes second nature to know whether '\' will get you a library filter or a before-after comparison.

Put another way: once you learn what to do, you just do it...

So, for me, the single biggest factor is the switching lags. I know for others, the context issues are more critical (especially newbies).

Anyway, without a doubt, I'd prefer the ACR Cache / Preview business to get straightened out so one could cull / review in either mode without penalty, and switch just for a quick look at the other modules panels.

I dont think we are doomed forever that dev mode will always be slow. I think there just needs to be a change to refine the image displayed over time. In other words, a jpeg preview would be fine in dev mode too, for a few seconds. At present it goes up for a moment, then gets prematurely replaced with something worse - oops.

Also, intelligent look-ahead (e.g. one should be rewarded for sequencing orderly in the same direction), background processing, and ram usage would help. For example, if you have a bunch of photos selected, Lr should not rest until an instant preview/cache entry is available for all - in ram if possible, else on disk, and a reasonable attempt should be made to predict which image you may want to view next (the look-ahead/reward thing I was mentioning).

CPU & Ram work for free once paid for - I say "use 'em!" And those of us who resist the creation of 300MB tifs (or have plenty of disk space even so) have plenty of room for ACR cache entries to go beyond the most rudimentary "not quite rendered even" state - whatever that means...

Photo of Scott Mahn

Scott Mahn

  • 178 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
I think having to pay mind to which module one is in invalidates the efficiency of keystrokes. It's a huge hindrance to productivity. Breaking down the barrier between the Library and Dev module should be of the utmost priority. New features are less important than streamlined workflow of existing features.

I wish this were done along side of the updated 2010 rendering as improved quality and efficiency go hand in hand. New gizmos are of secondary importance to quality/efficiency, for my needs.
Photo of Lee Jay

Lee Jay

  • 990 Posts
  • 131 Reply Likes
Repost of my latest thinking from one of the other threads:

"Develop is slowly acquiring Library's features (the last one added was collections) and it's had quite a few of them from the beginning (i.e. filmstrip). Now some of the shortcuts are starting to merge (Survey was the last one changed). So, they just need to keep moving in this direction - add relative adjustments and folders to Develop, add a multi-view mode (with zoom) and make filmstrip multi-row and you pretty much don't need library anymore except for metadata. Then make Library much more dedicated to metadata with things like a full-screen keyword view and other such things to help heavy metadata users and everyone will be happy."

I would add that Develop should make better use of the Library previews as well.
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 370 Reply Likes
I could easily see this idea extrapolated to encompass all of Lightroom.

Note: Its really only a problem worth solving in the case of lib+dev, but just for grins (and consistency), how about:

Instead of modules which define both main (center) panel content and side panels, simply separate those. One keystroke or click dictates center pane content, and independent keystrokes or clicks dictate side panels.

This way, one could make a last minute dev adjustment before printing..., or enter a forgotten keyword before uploading to the web...

I mean, there is plenty of room on the menu bar for the slideshow, print, and web menus even in library/develop mode... and, the slideshow, print, and web modules really don't need to consume a lot of context-dependent keystrokes (do they?).

PS - I don't use slideshow, print, nor web module - so this is all a don't care for me personally - just an idea...

PPS - I'm not saying the side panels couldn't also default to a more appropriate set when switching main/center-pane content, but the gist of this is that any side panels could be made accessible regardless of center-pane content.
Photo of Photographe


  • 243 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
Thank you for starting this idea. I generally agree with the reasons given by members above. I especially like Lee Jay's solution. It's elegant and fits into LR's existing reasoning. I am pretty confident that they ~have~ to do something like. Quick Develop already has so much of the Develop Module, just in a dumbed down way, and Develop Module already has Collections just not folders.

My preference though would be a truly creative reinvention of the GUI. Don't let Apple be the one to do it again.
Photo of Ulrich von Agris

Ulrich von Agris

  • 6 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Coming from Apple's aperture I can only support the idea of merging the modules. I like lightroom better than aperture for many reasons but miss the possibility to do it all in one place.
Photo of Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen

  • 61 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
I love this idea. I don't use Web, Print or Slideshow modules. It would be much faster for me to work in one module then switching from one to another.
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 370 Reply Likes
If you like this idea and you haven't already done so, please add your vote by clicking the '+1' button at top of page (lots of people don't know to do this).
Photo of Keith McFarland

Keith McFarland

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I spend about 30% of my time in the Library Module and 60% in Develop (10% for everything else). However, I could do 90% of my real work in the Develop Module alone if the Library were somehow merged with this module. I spend plenty of time going back and forth between the two.

With that in mind, here's the idea that I would like to open for discussion & debate:

• Merge the Library's "grid view" (which is quite handy) into the Develop Module and do away with Library Module completely.

• Add a tool menu to the Develop Module for the tasks that are currently taking place in the Library Module (e.g. keywording).

• When you double-click an image in the grid view, that image enlarges to facilitate detailed developing work (same as the current Develop Module). The filmstrip at the bottom would become visible during this time.

• However, if you select multiple images (Ctrl+Click) from the grid, you can perform modifications to all of those images simultaneously.

This is easy for me to suggest since I know absolutely NOTHING about writing software. What do the rest of you think?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Combine the Library and Develop into a single module?.
Photo of Jonno Wong

Jonno Wong

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
There is no good reason why they have to be separate other than "just because that was how it was designed in the beginning".

I must switch to library to
- go through individual pictures (because it is faster than doing it in Develop)
- browse pictures in a grid
- comparing 2 pictures
- bulk develop

I must switch to devlop to
- develop photo
- check adjustment history

Not to mention all the money Adobe is spending to maintain 2 different code bases with similar functions.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LIGHTROOM: Merge Library and Develop modules.