2010.01.15 13:40 "Re: [Tiff] eta for bigtiff support?", by Phil Harvey

2010.01.20 13:41 "Re: [Tiff] eta for bigtiff support?", by Gary McGath

My feeling is that calling BigTIFF a new format will cause more harm than good. Many existing applications will be able to read BigTIFF files by simply building with a newer version of libtiff. Regardless, I do agree it is a new format.

The consensus has evidently gone the other way, but I'll restate my reasons why it should be considered a different format (and more concretely, a different MIME type) just for the record. The header structure is different, and the structure of every tag is different. TIFF is defined by Adobe, which as far as I can tell has shown no interest in endorsing BigTIFF, so there's confusion about who specifies what is henceforth called "TIFF."

By analogy, UTF-8 can be an extended form of ASCII. A good ASCII file is a good UTF-8 file. But we don't call UTF-8 "Big ASCII," because it's sharply different.

But what's done is done. A resolution either way is better than a shadow existence. I'm assuming that Adobe is aware of the discussions and hasn't thrown lawyers against BigTIFF.

Gary McGath
Digital Library Software Engineer
Harvard University Libraries, Office for Information Systems