I just upgraded from LR 6 to LR Classic CC (LR 7.4) an was pleased by the improved performance. But the more I use it, the more frustrating it gets.
With Lightroom 6 it was possible to edit presets within an text editor. One could just remove one code line that way and Lightroom ignored the respective setting when the preset was applied. Now – with Lightroom 7 and XMP presets – this doesn't work anymore if one uses such a modified preset as import preset. The missing value now is reset to Lightroom's default value (mostly to 0), not even to the configured "defaults specific to camera ISO setting".
It also doesn't makes a difference if I remove a code line or if only the value within the "" is removed in the xmp file.
If one reassigns such a preset, it still works fine and the removed settings aren't touched anymore by Lightroom. I suppose, the import setting behavior is a bug, since the preset acts like before when applied later on.
The old behavior gave the option e.g. to only change the overall sharpening value without changing the other values (and thus it was able to combine presets with Lightroom's camera/ISO-specific base values). This "trick" in general e.g. was described here:
Of course one could modify his workflow from:
1) Import with development preset & generate previews !
1) Import without preset -waiting-> 2) manually assign preset -short waiting-> 3) manually start preview creation
This workaround at least works until Adobe maybe changes the behavior of development presets also when they are manually applied. Until then it only costs more time and you need to wait in front of your computer.
If this was an intentional change, then Adobe really just managed to make the presets even more useless. How is this even possible?! For years customers ask for better preset-features (like relative presets), but now Adobe even reduces the possibilities. I will continue the test period but I already consider downgrading again. If a software attempts to manage all my photos from many years, I'm really sensitiv for bugs and inconsistent behavior/possibilities.