2009.02.25 08:01 "[Tiff] OT: Text layer possible in tiff format?", by

2009.02.27 16:54 "Re: [Tiff] OT: Text layer possible in tiff format?", by Toby Thain

On 27-Feb-09, at 11:01 AM, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:

With good enough documentation and specification, as those other technologies have had, we could see the same diversity and healthy competition in rasterisation and compositing engines for PSD as transformed imaging industries post-PostScript.

>> Nearly everyone (outside Adobe) would be happy to see PSD's

>> primitives? already a de facto standard of sorts, if reeking of >> lock-in? be made fully interoperable. However Adobe seems to fear

that kind of open-ness and it seems safe to predict it will never happen. Technical rationales for this are rather feeble compared to the powerful paranoia factor.

Are you saying that a 79 page poorly-formatted summary dump of enumeration names and structure layouts (many of which might not ever be actually used) is not sufficient to meet your needs? :-)

Or are you saying that Adobe should open-source the rendering engine used by this Photoshop software similar to the way Sun Microsystems open-sourced your favorite ZFS?

Now, now... :)

Thank goodness we still have TIFF!

To return to the point, if one were to bolt on all these "features" to TIFF, wouldn't it be convenient for everyone if they were congruent with Photoshop's?

That doesn't mean Adobe needs to open its precious source code - I don't think they ever opened a single line of PostScript or PDF- related code! It just means that the specification should be (ahem) sufficient for third parties to be able to figure out how to rasterise and composite Photoshop layers.

Hint: One of the factors in PostScript's early and comprehensive success were the Red books which were practically clear and complete enough that you could clean room an interpreter. Those books were released very early - before most people, myself included, had ever seen a PostScript printer. And they contained a wealth of implementation detail *even though* Adobe's business model at the time was licensing its own PostScript implementation. How things have changed.

What I'm saying is that the complications here are essentially not technical. The basic ideas are not Photoshop specific, it is just that we can't reliably/accurately/easily interpret Photoshop's blobs. Things get murkier (hehe) when Photoshop's jazzy layer effects and such are involved, and no doubt there are anti-personnel patents strewn around, but Adobe could buy a lot of goodwill by starting with the easy stuff (text and vector layers would be an obvious start).

Then somebody in a boardroom will shriek, "But it will benefit {THE GIMP, PSP, Competitor X,Y,Z...}!" and the game will be over - missing, as usual, the point that it really benefits end users. Ho hum.

So, for those who want to design equivalent add-ons to TIFF, do they start with a clean slate, or do they try to align their efforts with a mangled, incomplete 79-page codex?

History shows the only way to slay the giant is to do it over, and do it better. If the giant won't cooperate. :)



Bob Friesenhahn

> bfriesen@simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/
> bfriesen/

GraphicsMagick Maintainer, http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/