KDE Image Database 1.0 Released

After exactly one year of coding, several months of bothering people with
demos, and 2 long holidays (also used for coding), I've finally gotten my act
together enough to make a public release of KimDaBa. If you have a large pile of digital images and need a sane solution for managing them, KimDaBa could well be the answer to your prayers.

When I got my first digital camera a year ago, several image managers
already existed, so I had a hard time choosing the right one. It was especially
hard because I had serious doubts that any of the existing applications would
scale up very well, up to say, tens of thousands of images with hundreds of
new images coming in each month.

Taking my ignorance to the limit, I decided to develop the desired
application myself. Suffice it to say, if you have a large pile of digital images, and cannot answer yes to
all of these points, then be sure to take a look at KimDaBa:

  • It's easy to index your images -- "Label these 10 images as pictures of my girlfriend."
  • Within a few seconds you can find a given image you have in mind --
    "Locate that image of my girlfriend from the holiday on Mallorca
    in 1998", or "Get me that photo with both my girlfriend and my
  • You have all the tools needed to set up a slide show of a given
    subset of your images.
  • When browsing through your images, it's easy to switch category -- One
    moment you are looking at images of your girlfriend, the next you are
    looking at images from your trip to Mallorca.
  • It's easy to make your images available on the net in different
    resolutions -- Make it easy for your mother on a 32Kb modem to see
    them in the right resolution, and for your brother on a 2Mb line to get
    images in a resolution high enough for printing.


I tend to dislike using as a but this seems just so relevant...

In konqueror, you can right click on an image, and add meta info for description. This is really cool to use to store info about the picture.
However I can't select multiple pictures, and edit the meta info for all of them at once - I can't think of a nice way to do this.

By JohnFlux at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Reply to my own post... just wanted to clarify that this was in response to:

>>It's easy to index your images -- "Label these 10 images as pictures of my girlfriend."

Another quick point:

>>Within a few seconds you can find a given image you have in mind -- "Locate that image of my girlfriend from the holiday on Mallorca in 1998", or "Get me that photo with both my girlfriend and my father."

This seems again like something konqueror (or friends) should be able to do.
Perhaps it already can - search for files for text in meta info?

The gnome storage stuff seems perfect for this kind of thing..

P.s. I'm not knocking the app - it looks cool :)

By JohnFlux at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

fire up the Find File util (or go under the Tools menu in Konqueror) and on the Contents tabs there is a metainfo search option. it works rather well. for images, I select All Images from the file type drop down menu and then go crazy with the metainfo search =) this may be new in 3.2, i don't remember what it looked like in 3.1 anymore

By Aaron J. Seigo at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

But not for PNG-images. They don't have a meta-field...

By Andreas Pietzowski at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

It does not support EXIF information and so it is useless for me. :(

As a hobbyist photographer, *what I need to switch my photo db on Linux* is something like this:

"( ) iView MediaPro is essential for creative and media professionals who need to organize, view, annotate, print, backup and repurpose media, as well as automate workflows.
With iView MediaPro, you can make the most of your media to create flexible slide show presentations, QuickTime movies, theme-based web pages, print multi-image reports, and custom PDF layouts. You can also enhance the color, brightness and other visual characteristics of photographs.

Version 2.0 comes with its new cross-platform Catalog Reader for free distribution. Share iView catalogs and slide shows with clients, colleagues, friends and families who do not own an iView program.

Organizing your media into catalogs allows you to instantly search, annotate and classify media with unlimited criteria across large volumes of mounted or unmounted media files using the drag-and-drop organizer. MediaPro supports IPTC, EXIF and QuickTime annotation standards, user defined annotations and128 file formats, including popular image, audio/video, and digital camera raw formats. It also converts media into a variety of formats and supports AppleScript.

Creates media catalogs containing thumbnails and annotations that can be viewed even when the original files are no longer on a mounted drive. iView MediaPro allows you to import photos direct from a digital camera and burn media onto a CD-ROM or backup media to a removable volume."

And of course, I need 16bit per channel support on Gimp. And then I can switch on Unix/Linux with all my gear. But such support ain't there yet for pros or for serious hobbyists.

By Photographer at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

That's a good point. There is an "exif" command line utility for Linux/Unix so it should be *very* easy for Jesper to add this to KimDaBa in the next release. Stay tuned!

By Anonymous at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

And indeed the next version will have EXIF support.
I had a hard time discarding it for version 1.0, but I had been working on it for almost a year, without a single release, so I had to cut somewhere.

I've already started working on what will be version 1.1 (no 1-year development period again).

1.1 will likely be out just after next holiday - which will be XMas ;-)

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

> As a hobbyist photographer, *what I need to switch my photo db on Linux* is something like this:

Wow! That's a lot of "hobbyist" features. What do you bet they had more than one guy working on it for a year? ;-) Let poor Jesper have a little glory before pointing out all that is not in his initial release. ;-) Actually I looked at a previous version of KimDaBa and it is very cool, though it's obvious it doesn't have some features that could be useful at this time. It is a very slick application that will be useful to me.

> And of course, I need 16bit per channel support on Gimp. And then I can switch on Unix/Linux with all my gear. But such support ain't there yet for pros or for serious hobbyists.

Why don't you have a look at Cinipaint? It's good enough for films like "2 Fast 2 Furious", "Scooby-Doo", "Harry Potter", "Stuart Little" and more. It's also GPL'd and of Gimp heritage. While you're at it if you don't mind shelling out the bucks and want to produce movies there's other cool software like Maya, but it's about the same price as a new car to set up that Linux gear. ;-)

Clearly adding a lot of other features like you mentioned would take some work but there are image gallery creation programs like Kallery by Andras Mantia and other programs that do tasks similar to things you mentioned. To actually make them useful in an integrated set up would take some work and use of DCOP, perhaps kparts and could even be made to interact with programs like Kommander or KJSEmbed. So while it may not be an easy rival to the software you mentioned it's closer than you may think. One important factor is it doesn't have to all live in one application if the various programs can interact well.

By Eric Laffoon at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

>Why don't you have a look at Cineipaint?

Cinepaint does have 16bit support but is not as good as the new Gimp 1.3.x for photo retouching and editing. But the Gimp again, doesn't have 16bit. It is a bad cycle.

By Photographer at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Film Gimp has 16 bit support.

"..The extended dynamic range of CinePaint appeals not just to 35mm cinematographers, but to 35mm still photographers as well. Still photographers can think of CinePaint as having many more F-stops of range, of being capable of capturing much more subtle nuances of color in a vast blue sky for instance. CinePaint handles 8-bit, 16-bit linear, and 16-bit float images."

I must be missing by what support it doesn't have that you need.

By Marc J. Driftmeyer at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

You did not read my reply before you reply!

I said that CinePaint DOES have 16bit support, but is not suitable for photo work as much as Gimp 1.3x is. They have removed a number of Gimp features in order to make it more suitable for movies instead. Gimp 1.3x is way better for photography work, but it does not have 16bit support.

By Photographer at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

1. If you really care for your pictures you would never, ever, use jpeg, so exif should be an non-issue...
2. If you don't care to spend money on a Linux retouche app with 16bit support, check Amazon Sweet16 ( - _very_ expensive), or Photogenics HDR ( - not as expensive as Photoshop).

By LaNcom at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Do you know how to get Nikon Coolpix 2100/2500/3100 to take pictures without saving them in JPG format?

By anon at Fri, 2003/12/05 - 6:00am

EXIF can be used with TIFF images as well as JPEG. (But anyhow I disagree with the assertion that if one cares "never, ever" use JPEG. One may care, but there sometimes have to be trade-offs between file size and quality).

By Tim Middleton at Mon, 2004/10/04 - 5:00am

I've always wondered what this bugger did. Hope to see more apps here :)

-ian reinhart geiser

By Ian Reinhart Geiser at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

How did you manage to talk to me for more than an hour in total at the Kastle without getting a demo ;-)

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

> KimDaba offers to describe images with a number of properties. These includes date, persons on image, location of image, plus a keyword field

This sounds only useful for people taking photographs of persons at locations with no need for more than one own property. Why not make this full configurable or possible to add/search for unlimited property|content pairs?

By Anonymous at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Hey mate, did you expect me to include a complete feature description in this short announcement?

Of course you can configure the categories to your hearts content. So you may include categories for pet, things, buildings, sex toys, you name it ;-)


By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

After Mosfet's PixiePlus ended up dying with him, I thought I would never have a good image manager again, this sounds like it will fill its role for me =)

By Mario at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Mosfet died?

By Khtml bug #1 at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Really, where is Mosfet??

btw this app looks nice. Maybe some functionality could also be in Konqueror, and maybe even using the underlying filesystem's extended attributes (like reiser 4). Then you could burn your collections on CD and browse and search them just as easy.

By wilbert at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Mosfet comes and goes, for this is his way. He'll be back at some point. There are a lot of "disappearing hackers" in Open Source. KDE has a number of guys that show up for a while and then mysteriously disappear again to later resurface. I think Mosfet is just a bit louder about it. :-)

By Scott Wheeler at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

>>It's easy to index your images -- "Label these 10 images..." etc

This is exactly what I've been looking for! Kewl!
thanks x 10e6!

By cypherz at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

How is this app compares to GTK#'s upcoming F-SPOT, feature-wise?
More info here:

By Photographer at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Downloading at about 2 kilobyte/sec, just like in the bad old days. I'm off to bed now, I'll mirror it on my university space when I get up.

From the screen shots, it looks interesting. Currently I have all my photos in chronological order in folders based on when I downloaded them. I imagine thats just going to get more unwieldy the longer I own the digital camera though.

By Ian Monroe at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Indeed it has ;-)
I've never seen my 512K line so hot!

All please be patient, I'm moving as we speak, so things so be much better in less than an hour ;-)

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Its at ktown now, os there should be more enought bandwidth now ;-)

Thanks though.

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Can't wait to try it !

By quarus at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Just about 4 weeks ago I discussed with a friend about such an app and our needs.
I'll give it a try asap, because there are about 14'000 Digitalfotos on my disk, and I can order it how I want - it's a chaos...

By Dani at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Personally I have approax 3.500 images managed by KimDaBa, and I do indeed expect that it scales to a much larger number, afterall that is the whole idea with KimDaBa.

So please get in contact with me once you have started using KimDaBa, so we can profile any bottlenecks that might be left.

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

I think a db(mysql) backend could be good.
This should be relative easy with kioslaves, not?
I'm not a KDE Developer... (only java+php)

And if the data's in a db, it would be possible
to build a webfrontent via php.

I'll get in contact with you when KimDaBa is up and running..
Oh, and yes, exif extraction would be very cool.
"search all images width flash enabled" ;-)
"search all images with exposure time greater than 1 sec"

are wishlist and buglist on the web accessible?

By Dani at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

I did consider putting it into a db from the beginning, but decided to see how a plain file would do, so far the loading time of the 3500 images is not significant. If it should turn out to get to slow I'll consider write db support.

As long as its fast enough a plain XML file is much easier to maintain than a db.

You may still write php code that access the XML file.

wishlist, buglist: see

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

For projects where it's just a little bit too big for a file, and too small for a database, it might be worth having a look at sqlite.

btw, it's not entirely clear. Do you use the meta information in the actual images at all?
(I often store the descriptions of my photos in there)

By sqlite at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Are you referring to the EXIF info? No I dont use that currently, but next version will include support for it.

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

/me checks in konqueror..

Ah yeah it is exif - that makes other comments make more sense now.. thanks.

Btw when I right click on a png, it doesn't offer me a chance to add a comment or anything about the image. But I thought png allowed arbitrary key-value pairs?
Is this just a case of the gui not supporting it yet, or that it isn't EXIF, or something?

By sqlite at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

PNG doesn't have EXIF (its a standard limited to JPEG I think). Konqueror shows comments on the PNG on the Meta-Info tab but doesn't have a way to add any.

By Ian Monroe at Thu, 2003/12/04 - 6:00am

What about adding this app to the future KDE 3.3 ?
There is no app like this in the official release and it would be a good improvement.

By LC at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Getting applications into the KDE release doesn't seem to be that easy, and I'm for sure no politician (Dont use this agains me if I ever choose to go into politics ;-)

I did ask some people at Kastle if there was interest in getting KimDaBa in there, but people wasn't exactly exited, so lets see.

Feel free to add presure whereever you find it appropriate if you want it in there. I'd be happy to support whatever actions technically needed to get it in there.

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Personaly I don't see any compelling reasons why KimDaBa should go into the main release of KDE. But it's a perfect app to put under the extragear umbrella. And with some planning there are no problems to time your releases to the main KDE ones. And then you don't have to play with politics, just bribe the release dude to add a couple of lines and a link in the release anoncement.

By Morty at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Of course, you already know that it *is* under the extragear umbrella, right?! ;-)


By Anonymous at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

If you add some search features, I will be happy. ;-)

By Tobias at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

I'm wondering if you are capable of drawing your girlfriend so well that it finds her rather than your mother ;-)

Nice idea, and I've put it on my wish list, but not exactly at the top.


By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

It would certainly be a good idea to be able to group lots og images automagically like imgSeek does. Please give it a try - the algorithm used is described somewhere at and if i remenber correctly not to difficult to implement - the result is a hash value.

By J. And at Thu, 2003/12/04 - 6:00am

Wow! This thingy is cool!

I'm currently hooked on Windoze but am planning to convert to Linux on XMas. One of the several pieces of data that i will have to "convert" is a moderately large collection of digicam images, which i previously looked at with a horribly stupid digicam browsing tool plus a simple folder structure. KimDaBa gives me categories and free associations to introduce some order into the chaos ;-))

I will *definitely* use it around christmas, expect feedback from me then

By Robert at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Will KimDaBa support the remote protocol of Gallery in a next version? ( )

By Sander at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

The next release (for January) is already stuffed with other features I want in, so no - not unless someone else joins the project and implements it (hint hint)

I've bookmarked your page, so maybe someday. If the database you refer to is capable of storing all the data KimDaBa has, then it sounds like a good idea to me.

By Jesper Pedersen at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

There is an application included in KDE since a long time (however I never had luck to get it work) called Kmrml. Is a client for GIFT, a image indexing server with manages to clasificate images similar to an example proposed by the user; it uses an xml based protocol so it can be used in a distributed way over internet. I think it would be interesting to make both applications work together (a possible backend for KimDaBa??). However I have no the time to work on this :-(

By John the anonymous at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

I have tested both programs and digikam 0.6.0pre is sooo sweet especially with its plugin mechanism. But KimDaBa has the far better features to organize my pictures.

KimDaBa as a digikam-plugin!

Working with a good digicam (EOS300d) and Linux is quite ok. When somebody wants to work on a kde imaging program _please_ use 16bit RGB and colormanagement. You need this today! Scanner and RAW formats use more than 8 bit per channel. There is only CinePaint today for Linux so there is a deep need for a good (=KDE) image manipulation program.

And don't underestimate the size of a picture.
Kuickshow can't show
(40786x100 pixel)
(gimp works)

Oh, and a kde-tool (like PTassembler or better than Hugin) for the panotools would also a nice addon ;-)



By Thorsten Schnebeck at Wed, 2003/12/03 - 6:00am

Warning: this post contains shameless self-promotion :->

> Kuickshow can't show
> (40786x100 pixel)

Gwenview can view it.
Have a look at it:

By Aurélien Gâteau at Fri, 2003/12/05 - 6:00am