Lightroom Classic: Limit of 52 reorderings in custom-ordered collections and folders

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 days ago
  • In Progress
  • (Edited)
[I've verified this bug still exists in LR 8.3, both for collections and folders. -- John Ellis] 

After a while of custom sorting the order of photos and stacks within a collection (using Grid View), Lightroom starts to unpredictably refuse to sort photos. Some will get positioned where I drop them, others won't move at all and yet others will get positioned somewhere close by (eg. 4 or 5 photos before or after).

After digging into the catalog file I've come across what I think is the problem, but don't know how to fix it. In the attached file you'll see a screenshot of the database table for the collection, you'll see I've hilited the images that are part of the same collection, but their positionId is identical (which should never happen I'm assuming), probably due to the field size reaching it's maximum length. This is what I believe is causing the problem. Tested this on both Lightroom 5.7 and CC 2015.8.

This is a major bug and effectively stops user sorting from being functional, as well as now having potentially lost weeks of work. Any suggestions?


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Adrian Cleave

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Posted 3 years ago

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Eric Webb

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In response to an e-mail just circulated by Rikk Flohr - who appears neither to have read nor understood the accumulated e-correspondence - I further confirm that from my standpoint this bug is definitely still active in a fully updated Win 10 installation.

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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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I am sending you an e-mail off-list to get some more details.

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Ryan Caliendo

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Sunil the images are rearranging themselves! I’ll be done with arranging an entire batch of photos on the timeline and if I make one false move with a virtual copy, most images get scrambled.
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What's going on with this bug?? It still persists over THREE years after being first brought to the attention of this forum. Honestly, do you guys have no clue how to fix this? It's really annoying that it appears to be a back-burner issue when your users are demanding it to be resolved. Please update us as to what is being done to resolve this major bug.

As to what Ryan (above) mentioned, the virtual copies getting scrambled, this has to be the most frustrating part of this experience. Even after exiting LR, reopening, and going back to my collection, I still can't move around the pictures that are now out of order. Thanks a lot.
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Mary Ella Jourdak

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Just chiming in that I'm fully updated and having this bullshit problem. This is SO frustrating. It's getting easier and easier to consider leaving behind the Adobe programs...
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Greetings all,

The Lightroom Classic team marked this issue as fixed in 8.3 based upon the confirmation of the original reporter of the issue. It appears now that the issue was fixed with regard to the 52 image threshold but is still encountered at higher numbers of images. 

I've reopened the bug and am looking for more information regarding how many images it takes to break the reordering. Can you provide me with solid numbers of how many images it takes to break?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I retested the recipe I tested in LR 8.3 with 1025 photos:

and it still fails the same way. I tried with significantly fewer photos and couldn't observe any problems. But this test surely points at some problems with the current renumbering algorithm.