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I tweaked a bunch of Jpeg images in Darktable, which offers non-destructive photo editing. I would like to view my images in a simpler program, like gthumb, but although gthumb says it can read xmp sidecar files, I don't see my changes applied.

Is there a way, using nautilus, image viewer, gthumb, or something else, to see images with the xmp modifications applied?

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The XMP files does contain the instructions for applying the changes you've made, but those instructions are understood ONLY by Darktable.

This is very similar to how both Photoshop and Lightroom works w.r.t. non-destructive editing (which by the way uses OTHER "instructions" in those XML files, and the actual effects also differ, even if the actual XML-file content overlaps, there is no [ISO-]"standard" in this regard).

Notably: The editing is just "edits", not finished work.

As far as I known there is no other software, viewers or not, that can decipher and apply the changes in the same manner as Darktable (or Ps or Lr).

To be able to use any viewer you need to export the images, as JPG, PNG or whatever.

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