"But the second screenshot on the page shows a "Search for images" dialog with add/remove image buttons, which looks like it will fit the bill."
I didn't get this by looking myself, now I understand: If you're right, this screen would represent a "virtual folder", with 1 or more such photos, to which all the others then would be compared: This would indeed be an almost perfect solution for the task, especially if you collect some photos here that are similar in a certain way - but doubtful if the algorithm is able then to "get" that common feature... This relates to:
"Face recognition". In fact, in practical use, it would be way beyond identification of multiple photos of a certain person like in "wedding" photography (or similar situations): Have a certain detail on numerous photos, let's say a landscape with a barn, and that barn from numerous perspectives (front, sides, back), in different areas of the respective photos, and in various zoom grades: It would be helpful to have software able to identify that barn, OR even similar barns, upon request, which is two different tasks, in fact:
- setting "try to find every instance of this object / person / barn / whatever" (which would imply that within a certain photo, you do a virtual cropping of some area in order for the software to "know" what exactly you are after, too, and why not such "selective zones" on more than one photo at a time!), which means the algorithm would have to make guesses, and when in doubt, EX-clude the find
- setting "try to find similar objects / barns / persons..." which would mean that when target is a woman, the algorithm would IN-clude other women, on condition that their hairdressing / hair color or face shape or something is similar: there could be options like "by predominant color", "by predominant shape", or combinations of such
"want to search for similar pictures on my hard drive to create a slideshow" - here again, the algorithm should be able to search for shapes or tonal ranges, by settings done in palettes or such - of course, development would be rather demanding, and if you think twice, it probably occurs to you that it's Adobe indeed who should have implemented such functionality in their image CATALOGING software, brand-new Lightroom 5, since
- LR is sold in sufficient quantities alone, in order to justify development cost, and
- such a "find similar" functionality has its natural place in image catalog software, i.e. it really gets of interest for the prof. photographers having collected a high 5-digit number, or a 6-digit number of photographs:
It's all about building up "virtual collections", any time, years later if needed, instead of forcing you to foresee your later needs, and do heavy tagging up-front. So, you even could say, photo compare software is a software category that would not even exist, had Adobe done their homework right!
"They're in the news again for that this week" - that's why I mused how to get sms by pretending to take photos - indeed, at the end of the day, it would probably be "sufficient" to have google image search's functionality only... but for your own stuff... and without google indexing your own stuff and putting it into the www, at the same time!
"I was thinking of it as a possible workaround" - of course, a simple macro would do that, but the above "virtual folder" or "collection" functionality seems to be really good - another example, btw, how to NOT do screenshots: They should have put there SOME photos only, in that screenshot, in order to make people see that it's kind of "form" to enter "examples to search for" there, but no, they filled it all up, so that for me (and some others, I suppose), the intended functionality was obscured.
Age of components: I'm not against the respective "design" of the screen, but I think the "texture" is awful, by this meaning the visuals of the "background" of the components used there, "looks like really old Delphi stuff" - not the repartition of the controls, etc., which is a completely different thing. (Btw, Foxit Reader 6, brandnew, is a good example for very "modern-style" visuals.)
As for FS Viewer, both aspects ain't the way I like them: the components obviously are very old, for one, but worse, FS doesn't give you the option to get rid of some controls (and they don't even answer your mails when you say you're willing to BUY MULTIPLE (!) licenses if the introduce such an option), i.e. you cannot hide all those toolbars cluttering the whole screen, and so, for just VIEWING photos (and for which you simply don't need all these controls then), it's really, really ugly - the Swiss product "Fast Image Viewer" (free version available if you can do with just some standard formats) is at the other extreme: Really fast - fastest thing I ever trialled for picture viewers (well, it pre-loads pictures, among other measures), and a real beautiful screen (and yes, you can access the palettes, for processing your photos, by shortcuts, or by moving the mouse to specific screen borders) - highly recommended!
Again with regards to FS, their FS capture, even in their latest paid version, is unable to switch the target of the screenshot back and forth, from clipboard to file and back, with a keyboard shortcut, which would be a very simple thing for the developer, but he just doesn't do it, and in order to toggle by mouse, you have to display the program window, to begin with, when in fact the big interest of such a program lies in it being available and ready for use even when it's minimized - the same applies to multiple other commands in FSC neither available but by heavy mouse movements and screen clutter. So, ergonomics-wise, FS products are catastrophical, and FS developers don't take any advice whatsoever.
As for photo viewers, I suppose DO isn't bad at all here, and XYplorer did a really good job with their special viewer pane last year (except for hiding it within the file (!) menu...) - I'm VERY pleased with my XY lifetime license now! (Ok, that's not free when FSV is, but as said, FIV's free too if you don't need it for special file formats.)
"I never progressed further than writing text adventures in BASIC on a Commodore Pet..." - that's why I so strongly recommend AHK: It's easy, and its returns are tremendous, meaning just some lines of code will so strongly facilitate your tasks! It's like VB for Applic, but much easier, and for your whole system, not just for MS things!
Any experience with the MindGems thing? Will ask again next week-end. ;-)