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daemon mode for exiftool

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[Originally posted by mjc on 2007-07-13 13:09:20-07]

Hi all,

I want to call exiftool from a c image viewer program (gThumb), to get the metadata for hundreds of images (as part of the thumbnailing process).

exiftool works extremely well, except that it takes ~0.3s per file. I think that most of the time is actually spent initializing the program and perl, rather than actually generating the metadata.

Phil, have you considered adding a "daemon mode" to exiftool, so that it could be launched once and run persistently? Has anyone experimented with that?

- Mike

[Originally posted by andyarmstrong on 2007-07-13 13:11:51-07]

How about embedding Perl in gThumb?

Failing that I'm sure an exif extraction server could be written in Perl.

[Originally posted by exiftool on 2007-07-13 13:19:41-07]

Hi Mike,

The exiftool script does have powerful multi-file processing abilities.
A daemon would only be useful if you want interactive processing
of multiple files.  Right now to do this you would need to write your
own script using calls to the ExifTool functions.  It wouldn't be too
difficult to set this up if you know a bit of Perl, and would definitely
avoid the start-up cost of loading Perl, ExifTool and all the associated
libraries.  But in the end I'm not sure how much this will speed things
up.  You could run some tests on your system by processing a large
number of files in a single directory to see if the speed benefits
will be worth it.

Exiftool used to be a lot quicker, but for each new piece of information
that it extracts, it slows down just a little bit more.  And now the
amount of information extracted from some images is really crazy.

- Phil

[Originally posted by mjc on 2007-07-13 13:22:40-07]

Sure, embedding Perl in gThumb is an option, but it seems a bit hackish and fraught with peril (i.e., packaging and maintenance problems).

A perl server calling exiftool libs would work, but would duplicate a lot of code in the CLI tool, causing maintenance/tracking pain. But at least the c and perl would be cleanly separated.

Adding it into the standard exiftool CLI tool seems to be the most elegant (add a --daemon option). Maybe it introduces cross-platform issues, I don't know. It would let other similar programs call exiftool in a speedy manner, though.


[Originally posted by exiftool on 2007-07-13 13:35:41-07]

Hi Mike,

Ah, so you are using the stand-alone Windows version.  Right.

Try running the tests I suggested, and if you see enough speed benefit then
I will look into adding a CLI option for you.

- Phil


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