Lightroom 5 was released the other day, and in my blog post about it, I warned about a potentially insidious Publish-related bug that could cause you to “do stuff” on different photos than it appeared you were working with. Since “do stuff” could mean “delete these images”, at worst this means that you could accidentally delete images from your disk without even realizing you'd done it.
The folks on the Lightroom team at Adobe have always been most generous to me with their time and attention, and that remains the case with this bug, and we've been working together on understanding it. At this point, I can report that things are both better and worse than I initially thought.
It turns out that with effort, I can reproduce the bug in older versions of Lightroom (Lr3 and Lr4), so at least in one manifestation, this is not a new bug. It's telling that I didn't notice the bug in the four years I've worked with Publish, and I didn't hear about it from any of the hundreds of thousands of folks who use my plugins. This makes me feel that it must be an exceptionally rare bug, and that somehow I just got unlucky in that I'm hitting the bug easily after the upgrade to Lr5. If this is true, the “general alarm” of my initial post is unwarranted.
However, the fact that I and others didn't notice the bug doesn't mean that I and others weren't affected by the bug; the insidious “silent killer” nature of it means that you simply don't know exactly the ramifications unless you happen to catch it right away. If you are affected, but don't catch it right away, it may be days or months or years before you notice that something was done to the wrong image, or not done to the right image.
Clearly this is a Big Deal if you're bit by this bug, but we just don't know how widespread it is in the wild. Perhaps I'm the only one who actually suffers from it in Lr5, and that as such it's just unfortunate for Lightroom's PR that I happen to have a well-trafficed blog.
The investigation continues; I'll post updates as warranted.
In any case, I continue to find what's new in Lr5 indispensable, and I heartily recommend it. But for now, when working in Publish, I suggest always keeping the Filmstrip open and making your selections there.