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What purpose is served by the "exportcache?"



  • Kenneth Roach

    Well, it's been a month, and there have been no comments. I must assume that "ExportCache" serves no legitimate purpose, and is simply a leftover from one or another developer's bad decisions. Hopefully, that developer has moved on to browner pastures.

    In the meantime, I've dealt with the problem under Windows using the "mklink" tool. I run the ImDisk Ramdisk program specifically to deal with the odd trash photo editors (and other programs) want to leave all over the C: drive. At Windows startup, the ImDisk program allows one to copy data to the ramdisk it creates when it creates it. I tell ImDisk to copy files from C:\EmptyOn1StartupFiles. The ON1 related contents of C:\Empty On1StartupFiles is now as follows:

    ExportCache2022 - Empty directory
    ExportCache2023 - Empty directory
    ON1\PerfectBrowserCache - A copy of the empty directory generated by ON1, including the DastBrowse, ON1Sync, and WatchedContent directories.under "PerfectBrowserCache."
    ON1_Temp - Empty directory

    And added just now:
    PhotoSettingsCache2022 - Empty directory
    PhotoSettingsCache2023 - Empty directory

    Each time my ImDisk installation starts (including at bootup), it copies all those directories, etc., to the 3Gb ramdisk I tell it to use. Each time I shut down, the contents of my ImDisk ramdisk go away. Completely.

    Note that I have different directories for ON1 2022 & 2023 in case I might run them both in the same boot session. I wouldn't want any accidental conflicts.

    The ON1 programs allow one to specify the location of a scratch file location ("?:\ON1_temp") and browser cache ("?:\ON1\PerfectBrowserCache") in the preferences section. The programs do NOT allow one to specify where any "exportcache" or this newly found mess called "PhotoSettingsCache" are to be located. The workaround for this seems to be the Windows "mklink" tool. I linked the appropriate directories in the ON1 2022 and ON1 2023 directories under the AppData\Roaming directories as follows (CMD program running as administrator):

    mklink /j "c:\users\('me')\AppData\Roaming\ON1\ON1 Photo RAW 2022\ExportCache W:\ExportCache2022"
    mklink /j "c:\users\('me')\AppData\Roaming\ON1\ON1 Photo RAW 2023\ExportCache W:\ExportCache2023"
    mklink /j "c:\users\('me')\AppData\Roaming\ON1\ON1 Photo RAW 2022\PhotoSettingsCache W:\PhotoSettingsCache2022"
    mklink /j "c:\users\('me')\AppData\Roaming\ON1\ON1 Photo RAW 2022\PhotoSettingsCache W:\PhotoSettingsCache2023"

    Note that I do not know the purpose of the ON1 PhotoSettingsCache directory. I only know that by default, it's populated by a bunch of dim tif files. I suppose I'll find out...

    Regardless, with this setup, all the trash that ON1 wants to put on my C:\ drive is in fact located on my ImDisk ramdisk drive on W:. When I boot, ImDisk creates the ramdisk and populates it with the empty directories I have stored at "C:\EmptyOn1StartupFiles". The ON1 preference tab points to some of them. I've pointed the others via the Windows "mklink" command, as described above. Both ON1 2022 and 2023 seem content to use the ramdisk in this way. And when I turn the computer off or reboot, the contents of all the directories on my ramdisk W: drive simply go away.

    Is this a pretty solution to the problem of stupid hard coded and unnecessary "cache" directories? No! But it works. And damn ON1 for making me (us) resort to using this sort of stuff to get rid of their unnecessary C: litter.

    This all works for me, for both ON1 Photo RAW 2022 and 2023 (2023 still seems to have too many bugs; I just don't trust it). But it may not be perfect. Use it or not, as you see fit.


  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    A couple of points on this.

    First, do you know that you are not talking to the company here. These forums are meant for user to user support and the company rarely responds to posts made here. The reason you got no answer is because nobody knows the answer. You'll have to ask tech support about the purpose of the ExportCache. It's also pretty arrogant to assume that you know better than the developers about how the program should have been written. You were not in the design meetings and as you've already made clear you don't know anything about the purpose of the ExportCache. To assume it is useless and the engineer that wrote it is a poor programmer reeks of I'm smarter than you. Arrogant.

    Secondly, creating a RAM disk and copying everything is counter productive. You are removing RAM the program could be using for editing your photos to store data that is better stored where the programmers placed it.

    Third, do you use Catalogs? If you do deleting the PerfectBrowseCache after every run of the program is a complete waste of time. The program stores the full screen previews of cataloged images there to speed up the Browser when it is displaying those images. Without the PBC the program must re-render the image each and every time it is shown. That takes time and consumes resources. And, the program will simply recreate it and start re-populating it immediately. Once again, that takes resources away from the system that the program would otherwise be applying to your editing sessions. It also slows down your system's performance as it makes heavy use of the CPU and GPU and increases disk I/O needlessly.

    The PhotoSettingsCache was discussed extensively just a couple of days ago. It holds masks so the program doesn't have to keep recreating them. It is managed and it is cleaned up as needed. You can safely delete this but again, there will be a performance hit while the program recreates the masks used by a photo the next time it gets displayed in the Browser. And the masks get put right back into the cache.

    You've insulted people you don't even know more than once in your post. It isn't helpful, it's just your opinion, and it does not advance the discussion in any productive way. If you think you can write a photo editing program better than ON1's engineers go for it. I'd like to see what you come up with. If it's better than what is available on the market today you'll be very successful.

    You might also find the Knowledge Base article Catalogs and Caches - ON1 Photo RAW 2022 & ON1 PHOTO RAW 2021 helpful in understanding how some of this works.


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