> [about not making background special wrt alpha]
   > What do you think?

   YES please. this is simply annoying.

   > I would even go as far as removing the "Add Alpha Channel" option from
   > the menus, and suggest that the prefered method to add transparency to
   > an image that has only one layer is to add a new layer, even if it is
   > deleted immediately.  This is not worse than the method used now by
   > some users (duplicate and delete the original) and I think that it
   > would be more intuitive to some users.

   I would say, simply make a layer by default have alpha always... I
   know I know it's more memory for that 0.001 % of cases where people
   start with one background layer and stick to one the whole time,
   without using alpha....

I suspect that there is a very good reason for having a default background
layer without alpha -- although I'm not sure I know what it is ;-)

I seem to remember that this is the way PhotoShop does it (I'm going
to check on this later tonight), and that would probably be a good
enough reason not to fiddle with this.  However, I'm thinking about
what usability reasons might be invoked for not changing this behavior
of layer operation.  Here's one line of thought...

There are times when having no alpha channel is a very good thing, and
this is why the function Flatten Image exists.  Since there are file
formats that don't support transparency, it is important that the user
be able to decide when, and how to flatten the image (i.e., remove the
alpha channel).  Furthermore, imagine you are a user that doesn't make
use of layers or transparency.  Under these conditions, having a
default background layer with no alpha channel is not a bother but a

In fact, there may be other reasons not to change this behavior that I
haven't thought of.  I would suggest that before jumping to change
this traditional behavior that it undergo some serious examination.
If PhotoShop does it this way, we should try to understand why before

Carey Bunks

Dr. Carey Bunks                     
Senior Scientist                    
BBN Technologies
70 Fawcett St, 15/2A                
Cambridge,  MA 02138                
tel: 617-873-3028  fax: 617-873-2918
email:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]              

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