Replicate a project?

I’d like to replicate a project to use with my students this fall. Is there a simple way to do that?

By replicate, do you mean to create an exact copy for each student which they will open and work on independently? Or the that all students work on a ‘shared’ copy of the project?

Tropy does not support collaboration features yet, which would facilitate such workflows, but depending on your requirements we might be able to set up a working solution, plus we’ll be working on improving this situation in the fall, so we might be able cut some early betas for you in return of feedback : )

In any case: to replicate project, basically you just copy the project file. You can open a project file on another computer just fine, but in order for Tropy to find the photos the paths need to be exactly the same as on the computer where you added the photos. Depending on the way you share the photos, it’s possible to make sure the paths are identical, but only if everyone in the group uses the same platform (it’s possible to get macOS and Linux to play along, but not Windows).

When will the project start? The best way forward is likely if we give you access to a beta version with preliminary support for relative photo paths. That way you could place all photos in a folder, along with the project file, and share that: everyone could then copy and open the project.

Hi. I did mean one version that all the students could access and play with. I’d let them access my research database, but the potential for disaster is too great! :slight_smile:

I’d be happy to be a beta tester this fall. Just let me know.


OK in that case, you would only need a project with relative paths support. I’m fairly optimistic that we’ll be able to provide this soon.

I’m currently in a similar situation. I and the person I’m working are trying to collaborate on a fairly large (2000+) image collection, and we need to be able to share both metadata and the image files referenced by the metadata. We’re using Dropbox as the central storage location. Currently, they’re not able to view the image files when accessing the project file.

For platforms, I’m using Linux. If my collaborator uses a Mac, would I be able to get away with replacing the current absolute paths ( e.g. /home/username/Dropbox/collection) with unexpanded relative paths (e.g. ~/Dropbox/collection) if we both set up a similar path structure on our respective machines?

I haven’t tested this, but it may actually work to replace the absolute paths in the database with relative paths.

But we’ll be adding support for relative paths before long to make this easier. Initially, we will add a per-project setting to use either absolute paths (good if you want to move your project file around but keep the photos in a stable location), use paths relative to the project file (good if you want to be able to move both project file and photos) or use an arbitrary base path (if you want to be able to move both project file and photos independently).

Those changes will make it much easier to move projects around or open them from different devices.

Please note that this will not yet allow you to handle sync-conflicts if you’re working on the same project in a shared folder; we’ll be looking to make collaboration easier but until then you’ll have to be careful not to overwrite a project file while someone else is working on it.

Having tried it, relative paths definitely don’t work in this version. Would it be possible to have you package us up the beta version, which I believe currently supports this, for us? The work we have to do is time-sensitive.

We will include relative path support in the next beta release planned for later this month.

Before then, what you could do is copy all the thumbnails from one computer to the other (select Help -> Show User-Data Folder from the menu and look in the cache folder; each project id has a cache folder containing all the thumbnails) – that way you would be able to see all the image thumbnails (in the project view) on the computer where the originals are not accessible at the original path.

The other option is to set up the Dropbox folder at the same path on both computer (e.g., /opt/share/dropbox or something like that).

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I’m a non-techie newbie. I just want to check my understanding of the current limitations re: collaboration. As I understand what I’ve read, the easiest way (only way?) to set up a project that allows research assistants (RAs) to access and contribute data is to load Tropy onto a single, dedicated machine that all users would have to use individually as a workstation. There is no way to load Tropy onto a server, for example, which would allow restricted access on our campus network. It has to be a single, local machine. Lastly, could a local network that would allow RAs shared access the dedicated machine work?

I understand you’re working on some collaboration/sharing tools, I’ll be very interested in tracking their development/launch.

Thanks a bunch mate, for your hard work! We appreciate the effort you put into this project.

Hi. I just bought a surface and I would like to replicate my project from my old Mac to my surface, as far as I understand it is not possible to change the path to photo files ?

Provided you’ve bee keeping your photos in one place (sub-folders are OK, but there should be one, common root folder) you can do the following:

  1. Make a backup copy of your project file (to be on the safe side!)
  2. Move your project file to the folder where you keep your photos.
  3. Start Tropy and open the project file (because it was moved, Tropy will not open it automatically)
  4. Enable ‘Developer Mode’ in the preferences; close the preferences.
  5. Select ‘Rebase project’ from the developer mode (while your project is open)
  6. Disable developer mode again and close Tropy.

Now you should be able to move the folder containing both your project file and the photos to your new device. When you install Tropy there and open the project, it may take a while for Tropy to regenerate all your thumbnails (you can select ‘Consolidate Photo Library’ from the File menu to make sure all images are re-generated right away).

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Would this work as a way to give my research assistant access to my Tropy project? It seems as though I could follow these steps, but copy everything to a remote drive for her to use. Would that work?


Yes, you can use ‘portable’ projects to share your project with someone else. The caveat is that Tropy does not yet have a way to detect and resolves ‘sync conflicts’ – that’s why we call this a ‘portable’ project for the time being (i.e., it’s mainly intended to be moved around easily, it does not yet have any ‘collaboration’ features).

In practice, this means that if you and your research assistant change the project on the shared drive at the same time, the version that is saved last will always ‘win’ (i.e., overwrite the previous version). This is similar to what would happen if you kept an Office document in a shared folder, for example – you can collaborate as long as you are careful not to overwrite each others changes.

Perfect. This should work well for my needs at the present time. Thanks!

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