On Tuesday 02 October 2007 10:07:56 gimp_user wrote:
> On Thursday 27 September 2007 08:00:45 George Farris wrote:
> > Though you object to selective discussion of your discorse, you have
> > at least twice falsely referred to gimp's lack of a tool for "non-
> > distructive editing".  The term is a contradiction in itself.  Perhaps
> > you can take the time to explain your meaning?
> Yes I do object to selective discussion because it means no one else is
> able to follow the whole thread when bits get cut out so the thread gets
> chopped into fragmnents - each one then gets followed selectively. Readers
> then find they have to flip backwards and forwards to follow the
> discussion.
> As this was a diversion from an original topic in a separate thread, and
> because your question is such a good one,  I have decided to recast my
> original reply as a seperate topic and provide a little more detail.
> This is not the first time a lack of understanding about the
> term "non-destructive editing" has come up and you are  not the only one
> who has the mistaken belief that it is OK to falsely accuse others on this
> list of something equivalent to having
> >"falsely referred to gimp's lack of a tool for "non- distructive editing"
> when you do not even understand the term under discussion.
> I believe gimp is a "good enough" tool not to need inappropriate defensive
> reactions or ill-informed responses when its limitations are discussed. The
> discussion of limitations leads to enhancement and there his ample history
> of enhancement in Gimp's progress. Gimp is a substantial tool that, in
> common with all other tool sets has limitations and weaknesses. In
> non-destructive editing  Gimp's weaknesses are substantial, however once
> support for 16 bit per channel  AND native raw file handling has been
> developed the path will be open for solving the problem.
> Before amplifying I do not want to you to have any mistaken impressions
> about   photoshop because one of my irritations with PS is that it does not
> yet fully achieve fully non-destructive editing. Its support for
> non-destructive editing is now quite substantial. It is getting there by a
> process of incremental improvement (whilst gimp cannot approach it) and
> each
> version seems to provide me with a more complete set (e.g. I have just
> upgraded to CS3 which, among other things, now has exposure adjustments
> available as a
> non-destructive layer whereas in CS2 exposure was not accomplished
> non-destructively.)
> By this I mean that one starts with loading the original image and that
> original can remain in the bottom of the stack. In the case of professional
> digital images that means raw files are sourced and loaded as 16bit images.
> Non-destructive editing can, for example, be accomplished by having each
> edit take place as a layer which can, at any later point, be revisited,
> either by by the original image manipulator or anyone further down the
> chain. That layer can therefore be tweaked later in the process.  There are
> some processes in PS that cannot be accomplished non-destructively but as
> Gimp does not even start with the ability to load a raw image or even an
> image at 16 bit we cannot begin the process.
> With non-destructive editing every individual edit can be selectively
> applied to the output (to screen, printer etc). Each edit is not applied to
> the original which remains intact. For example it means I could apply two
> alternative exposure corrections. At a very much later stage, and after
> much subsequent editing, either I or someone on some other machine, could
> print 4 copies namely the original without either  correction, with the
> first correction only, the second correction, or the sum of both
> corrections.
> Non-destructive editing also implies the ability to transfer files between
> people and organization in a form that they can amend the edits applied by
> previous manipulators.
> This is not a complete answer because there is more to it but I hope I have
> geven enough information to help explain why non-destructive editing is not
> a contradiction and also to ask you to withdraw your rather unkind and
> inappropriate accusation of falsity.
One thing I forgot to mention is that if you are simply trying to edit an 
image for your own use and can revisit the original then the absense of 
non-destrucitve editing features may not be a handicap. The point is to know 
what you can and cannot do with each and every toolset and when a tool is 
appropriate to your needs and when it is not.

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