1999.02.04 15:02 "Re: StripByteCount value or offset", by Tom Lane
This is a basic fundamental of Tiff files. If the data size times the count of values fit into the offset field then this field can be the actual data and not an offset to an array.
That's true at the level of what's physically on disk in the file's IFD.
But what szacks was asking about was the contents of the field in libtiff's in-memory representation, and that's quite a different matter. libtiff hides the value-versus-pointer optimization from you --- as it should, since you don't really want to be dealing with file offsets. (If td_stripbytecount contained a direct copy of what had been in the IFD, it wouldn't be a pointer at all, but a file offset, and you couldn't do much with it except fseek().)
regards, tom lane