On Thu, Jul 17, 2003 at 01:31:42PM -0400, Christopher Curtis wrote:
> >Another downside: needing a special tool to manipulate it.
> Well, now, I want to end this silliness right here.  Here's what you 
> need to manipulate files in my propsed format: (cat and dd), or (vi), or 
> (type and wordpad).  There are no tools more standard than these.

Using dd means the user has to tally the offsets and length by hand,
versus ar just does it for you.
> >Consider the case of a corrupted xcf file. Maybe only 1 layer out of 20 is
> >corrupted. With this proposal, a user needs either a special tool to
> >extract out the good layers, or do a lot of work by hand to figure out
> >how to use dd to grab it.
> With this format, a tool like the gimp can say "layer X is corrupt" and 
> the user would have to do something crazy like edit the file with "vi" 
> and delete the ``<layer type="corrupt"> ... </layer>'' section from the 
> XML header.

Your original proposal had offsets, which would need to be recalculated
when removing a layer.
> >With say ar, the user can extract individual layers by some tag, referenced
> >in the xml metadata. Then can edit the xml to stub out the broken layer,
> >and repack it and have a valid xcf file. This could be the difference
> >between losing 10% of the work vs. all of it.
> Ahh yes, this way all the user has to do is:
> ar x file
> look for the right xml and edit it out or something based on some tag 
> (I'm so glad this is so well thought out...)
> ar a file everythingelse1,2,3

Your proposal:

vi file
look for the right xml and edit it out or something based on some tag
also need to change all the offsets of the layers in the file

> Won't the Windows people be happy that they can do this instead of just 
> opening a friggin binary-safe text editor.

Won't the Unix people be happy that recovery and manipulation is less
convenient for them because Windows people are afraid to install ar?

Using ar makes it easy for scripts and the like to change stuff, which
would be good if this format goes beyond the scope of gimp.

> >So while a user can open a text file header in an editor, they are going
> >to need a tool anyway to manipulate it effectively.
> Yeah - it's called the same text editor.

And do a lot of work by hand, as above. You did mention having tools to
manipulate it yourself in your previous mail. What I'm saying is why
create more maintainence work with making tools when someone else has
it done for us already?

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