Photoshop Elements 15 Organizer should show empty folders

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When image files are moved from one folder to another and the source folder becomes empty, Photoshop Elements Organizer no longer shows the existence of that folder.  This can cause a build up of empty folders in the photo archive area.  It can also cause confusion and extra work if for some reason a user wants to move photos back to that folder.  Since the folder name isn't visible the natural course of action is to assume the empty folder was deleted and try to create a new folder with that name, but that operation will fail with an error message presented.  Once the user figures out what's going on he/she has to take another application and delete the empty folder, then go back to the Organizer and create a NEW folder with the SAME name.  The folder will then be visible for a while and he/she can move files into it.  If for any reason something else is done that significantly changes the state of the Organizer, the newly created empty folder will no longer be visible.  I reported this problem several years ago and nothing has been done. To me this is an example of a poorly design UI behavior that should be fixed.  Unless there's something really strange about the product design, this should be extremely easy to fix.  There must be a logic check made to detect an empty folder and not display it.  Just remove that check. Another solution would be to delete the empty at the end of file move operation.
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Bill Junk

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Posted 2 years ago

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Bill there are pros and cons in the present situation where the default view deals only with subfolders relevant to the catalog; that makes the real structure clearly visible.
Remember that a single click on the master folder lets you choose the 'show all subfolders' option. Not by default, it's a matter of choice... But that is always available.

There must be a logic check made to detect an empty folder and not display it.  Just remove that check.
The perspective in the organizer is not to browse the folder tree of the explorer and mask the empty folders. I view it as a reconstruction of the folder tree from the folder paths recorded in the catalog. One big advantage is to insure the internal coherence of the tree continuously. The option to show all subfolders updates the present situation of subfolders in the explorer: other folders may have been changed or created by another software during the browsing session. You don't need the burden of a permanent scan of all the explorer folder tree... at least this is how I see it.

I regularly use the option to show all subfolders to check if I need to delete empty ones. I mostly use keywords and dont like to move subfolders; if I decide to move (by drag and drop for instance), I set that option to avoid the issues you mention. Same for moving selected items from the browsing space and dragging them to the folder tree.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Peter,
I believe Bill knows very well to manage his library both from the explorer (browser) system and the catalog (database) system; it appears that trying to keep both systems totally compatible is a lot of work and can't be perfect for fundamental reasons.
Forget about Adobe, think about browsers versus database. There are Adobe database systems: the organizer, Lightroom; there many non Adobe other asset management systems working on catalogs and databases.
The most comical issue is that browsers (like Bridge, ACDSsee, Irfanview, Faststone...) are an additional software layer built over the Explorer. And the Explorer is built on a... database. You do know that your files are not written on the disk the way you see them in the folder tree? You know that you don't really use the thirty kinds of file display order by sorting the files on the disk? You simply select indexes in the explorer database. A single file may be written on several chunks on the drive. When you 'move' a subfolder in the explorer, you simply update the links. The files are not really rewritten and deleted unless you move to another physical or logical drive. The problem is to keep two different database systems with different structure in good enough sync.

Now, what's not clear in your example is how you avoid duplication when you want a given file to reside both in a lanscape and holiday folder tree?
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PETER KORNEK

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Hello Michael,

You are correct, simply creating a new file to store information  is carried by adding a flag to the file (data may well be stored in a number of locations but identified by a flag.
What I do is to create files in a number of external hard-drives. This gives me a controlled directory as well a data security. For example i created a file called

"2014 Canadian Road Trip"within this I have created sub directories identifying locations and subject matter.
On a separate drive I have copy file  but it has a label identifying the data by different headings.

I have never used PSE Organiser because over the years I have found my own system to be capable of managing the thousands of photo files using the system I have outlined above ( simplified of course but being an old engineer I hold to the KIS principle (Keep it Simple )
(Edited)
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Bill Junk

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I had three responses lumped together so I'll try to respond to each one below in the oder they appear above.

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Peter, I do have my photo archive on an dedicated, expternal hard drive that's declared in Windows 10 as a Library.  I'll explain a little more about how I protect myself from the damage that would be caused by a major catalog corruption.  All files have the date "yyyy mm dd" as the first part of their file name.  The rest of the file name is composed of a camera id and a sequence number.  So this would help if I lost the date information in the catalog and wanted to put the files in date order.  The file structure of my library is dominated by folders that have a specific geographic locations.  You can think of it starting at the top with World, then County, then many political subdivisions below that.  It's clearly hierarchical but also it's also quite easy in this structure to find a picture that I remember taking, for example in Yellowstone at the Grand Prismatic Spring all I have to do is work my way down the folder tree.  I will add that I'm a former Computer Science Professor at a state university and I know a little bit about how stuff gets stored on disk.  If the disk directory get clobbered then it's definitely a bad deal and I'd be forced to go back to a fairly recent shadow copy I've created, but there could be some things missing from it.

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Michael,  I think most of the points I made to Peter also apply to your comments.  One of the most important concepts that I feel very strongly about is to not allow a single point failure completely destroy years of work.  That's why I take extra time to generate meaningful file names, store images in a hierarchy that makes sense the way I think about things, and create periodic backup copies of the archive.  For the most part I'm happy with PSE Organizer and it's my primary means for accessing individual photos when I want to look at something on the computer.  When I'm getting more serious and doing creative work in Photoshop I ususally elect to access images from Bridge, simply because it is more streamlined and suited to feeding files into Photoshop.  When I want to attach an image to an e-mail or post it to Facebook, having the hierarchical structure the way I've built it usually makes it easy to find the file I want to share.  I can't remember having any noteworthy incompatibilites between the various applications I use.

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Peter,  I definitely support the KISS principle, although the way I keep things simple sometimes takes a little bit of additional work when images are imported.  But after that it's pretty much smooth sailing.  There have been times when I've taken my exterrnal disk drive with all of the images and moved it to another machine for use.  In fact, last week I took this drive to another computer that had a brand new disk drive just out of the box.  I copied the photo library from the old drive to the new drive and brought the new drive back to this computer, plugged it in and picked up right where I left off.  The old drive was about to get full so I needed more space.
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If I turn back the clock a day or two I'm not sure that I see the relevance of this discussion to my original request to have empty folders appear int the folder list.  I can see that it might not be such a good idea if a user puts photos in random folders with other non-photo stuff and doesn't really have the drive organized in any systemmatic way.  I would like to think that people are more organized than this, but that's probably a pipe dream.  Thanks to all of you for your thoughts,

      Bill
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Michael,  I think most of the points I made to Peter also apply to your comments.  One of the most important concepts that I feel very strongly about is to not allow a single point failure completely destroy years of work.  That's why I take extra time to generate meaningful file names, store images in a hierarchy that makes sense the way I think about things, and create periodic backup copies of the archive.  For the most part I'm happy with PSE Organizer and it's my primary means for accessing individual photos when I want to look at something on the computer.  When I'm getting more serious and doing creative work in Photoshop I ususally elect to access images from Bridge, simply because it is more streamlined and suited to feeding files into Photoshop.  When I want to attach an image to an e-mail or post it to Facebook, having the hierarchical structure the way I've built it usually makes it easy to find the file I want to share.  I can't remember having any noteworthy incompatibilites between the various applications I use.
My comment on the original question (showing all subfolders by default) was to question the idea that it should be very simple to achieve based on the following assumption:
There must be a logic check made to detect an empty folder and not display it.
I do not question if would be good to have an option to do so, I have another view about how it works really and I am not sure it would be so easy and foolproof.

For the rest, Like you I am very keen about physical storage and safety as well as about the 'KIS' principle (that's why I am using Elements and the organizer instead of CC...)
The funny thing is that the same exigencies turn into an opposite choice to yours: I have a very simple folder tree organization, sufficient to be used by external softwares or browsers, and a sturdy catalog system for maximum efficiency. (I have been using and creating simple database applications for decades). The extra efforts you are doing to keep both systems in sync don't seem 'simple' for me...
That said, if I can provide tips or workarounds to make your work easier, I'll be happy to do so.
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Bill Junk

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I guess I'm guilty of think that almost everyone works the same way I do, and of course, that's a pretty dangerous assumption to make.  I can see that the Organizer needs to be designed to work in all kinds of situations, including those that I would probably consider to be absolutely absurd.  I have a workable way to get rid of empty folders and I'll just stick with that.