Leonard Rosenthol <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

>          Don't you have to maintain backwards compatibility with your
> own user base?  I certainly expect that you will change things to
> support new features (CMYK, etc.), but since old GIMP users have to be
> able to read those files, your changes would have to be backwards
> compat.

I don't think the next generation XCF will be backward compatible.
Instead we will probably add a plug-in that reads the old files and
make it available for older gimp versions.

> >(3) Because GIMP can export it's images in a whole bunch of formats
> >     ImageMagick and other programs can handle perfectly well.
>          True, but then you lose information and you have two copies
> of the image on your disk.   For example, lets say that GIMP user
> wants to place an image they are working on in an AbiWord document.
> To do that before my changes to ImageMagick, they would have to export
> it as PNG and then import that (and hopefully remember to delete the
> copy!).  Now, since AbiWord supports image importing through
> ImageMagick, it can just read the original XCF file!  OR what about
> all the "web image gallery" software products that use ImageMagick to
> produce the thumbnails - now users of GIMP don't have to convert
> before running.

The idea to use XCF in an AbiWord document makes me shudder. The
thumbnail aspect needs to be considered though. We planned to add
a preview to the XCF file format and make it easy for other apps
to read that preview. It's probably a little late to do that with
the current format now. 

For image web galleries, I'd suggest they use GIMP in batch mode
to convert to another format or to create the thumbnails directly.
That would probably have been a way to go for ImageMagick too.

>          Also, if other applications can't read your file format, it
> doesn't help you propagate XCF as a "standard".  Of course, maybe
> that's not your intent.  Since GIMP only runs on GNOME-based Unix
> systems today (modulo the older Windows version and the hacks for Mac
> OS X), it means that your images aren't usable anywhere else!  Posting
> them, putting them on CD's, etc. becomes pretty xenophobic.
> Applications like ImageMagick that run on other OS's can help XCF
> become a viable option for image distribution.

I don't think XCF is intended to be a file format for image
distribution. It is as much a bad choice for image distribution as
Photoshop files are, or Word files for exchanging text documents.
It's sole purpose is to save intermediate states of your work and
probably exchange it among GIMP users. If there is the need for a
multi-layered image format that can serve as a distributable standard
file format for images (and I think there is such a need), one should
evaluate existing formats or propose a new standard. XCF in its
current state is definitely a bad choice.

Salut, Sven

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