On Thu, Aug 21, 2003 at 01:33:50AM -0400, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:

> >why would i want to save to a file format that would render my image 
> >that's built up of layer masks and vector text layers really badly 
> >if opened in a standard viewer
>       Because at least you COULD open it up in a standard viewer.
>       Is it better to be able to get at the data in SOME format, 
> but not perfect, using a 3rd party tool - OR not get ANY of your 
> data?!?!

I see no point in being able to open a GIMP-file called .tif with CIE
XYZ data in it - most of the viewer would simply say: "this is broken".

I suppose that most of the time, the GIMP-TIFFs are so special that they
cannot be viewed with a standard TIFF viewer. As already noted, if your
audience cannot read GIMP-files, you can always export the image.

IMO we gain nothing by using TIFF (apart from (ab?)using an existing
file format). I'm still for the archive+XML+image data as PNG (or TIF?)
approach - it allows the image to be manipulated externally. A thumbnail
could be embedded such that it's easy to extract, so viewers have a
chance to display something.

> >so why use a format that all consumers would expect to be able to 
> >utilise 100%, it would surely confuse the hell out of your average 
> >photo$hop users to use TIFF in this way, especially if we're looking 
> >at cross compatibility.
>       Actually, many users already DO use Photoshop and TIFF this 
> way!  If you have a multi-layered PSD file,  including text layers, 
> layer effects, etc and you save as TIFF, Photoshop writes out all the 
> information necessary for it to coime back into Photoshop with full 
> fidelity.  BUT if you open it up in some simple TIFF viewer - of 
> course, you don't get the same effect.
>       GIMP's use of TIFF would be EXACTLY the same...

I don't see the point of being able to get a rough approximation (or
total garbage) of the image when opening it in a "simple viewer".

> >in which case you'd have to do something about a workaround, like 
> >maybe have an optional pre-rendered version of the image stored in 
> >the XCF for viewers that don't support it properly,
>       Which is what Photoshop does in PSD...
>       For applications that support layers, you can read them.  If 
> you don't, there is an already rendered/flattend version available.

I don't like the idea of having my A3/300dpi poster stored prerendered
in the file. Of course, this could be an option. But I had to work with
such beasts and even on kick-ass machines, you need some patience and
the files tend to get huge.

> >GIMP has this handy thing called export, if your target audience 
> >wont be able to read an XCF then don't give them one, give then a 
> >PNG instead.
>       Sure, and lose all the extra information that might be useful 
> to them in other authoring environments...
>       And what about posting things online or to archives??

I think, this could be implemented as an extra: If you export an MNG,
the XML description could be embedded into the file. Then you have
the archive+XML+imagedata approach but a bit reversed. It would also
work for TIFF.

The biggest problem I see is that users will start using weird image
formats if GEGL becomes available. Maybe, I want my images to be 16.8
fixed point in HLS colorspace? There are probably only a few readers
out there which are able to display this... but I may overestimate this.

Also, being able to get at the layer data does not mean that you can
represent the image appropiately. You'd need to implement lots of layer
blending modes etc. Of course, a feature-rich libxcf could solve part of
that problem.

Bye, Tino.

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