It's no question of performance, it's only a question of a neat dir and file structure on the server.
I feel it as a responsability to the users of the plugin to keep the system consistent, to make it as less vulnerable to internal errors as possible.
The content of .../uploads/wppa/ must be seen as a part of the wppa system as the 6 sql db tables are. If it were doable, i had even rather had the actual image data inside the WPPA_PHOTOS db table.
I said it before, but i can only support this sytem if everybody keeps his hand off from the db tables as well as from the content of the wppa/ subdir.
As it is no matter of performance, and, as it looks now also not a matter of limitation in the maximum number of photos in the system, i will not change the structure of the files within wppa/.
But there are more reasons why one should not want to use the wppa/ subdir as an archive or treasory of the photos in the system.
The photo files in .../uploads/wppa/ are - on the majority of installations - resized (i.e. downsized) by php routines and probably 'damaged' with a watermark. The resizing by php has the side effect of loosing all exif and iptc data, and of course a poorer resolution.
For backup purposes there is the export functionality, what i could change to make a zip per album instead of per session as it is now, but that is also not intented - and not really suitable - to be your treasory of photos.
I recognize the need to have a neat dir structure ( on an album basis ) for many reasons like backup, the possibility to migrate to a different system, and for updating the wppa system with e.g. larger resized images or remove/alter watermarks or the ability for visitors to download the un-downsized versions (if you allow them to).
There is already the update feature in Import, but it requires a new upload (if the files were originally deleted after successfol import ur uploaded directly). So, apart from the idea to backup your original photo files 'in the cloud' in a overseeable 'neat' structure, also from the point of view from wppa, it would be handy to have the original source image files on the server.
I therefor have the following idea, what i would be glad to implement:
The creation and maintenance of an optionally source directory, say .../uploads/wppasrc/ with album subdirs like .../uploads/wppasrc/album-13/ that will get the original uploaded or imported files as they are.
The photo table entry will have an extra unchangeable field: filename, that will be used for updating the wppa image.
The user will be responsable for the uniqueness of the names, the wppa system will not rely on completelyness or correctlyness of this 'treasury' directory, it is just a helpfull resource.
I think we have the best of many worlds this way, disk space should not be a problem with prices less than €100 per terabyte nowadays.
How do you think about this idea?