2007.07.03 18:37 "[Tiff] BigTIFF extension?", by Phil Harvey

2007.07.04 21:04 "Re: [Tiff] BigTIFF extension", by Toby Thain

On 4-Jul-07, at 5:52 PM, Joris wrote:

I feel the whole discussion on the extension missed several important points.

  1. BigTIFF is TIFF. If I get a haircut, that is not logically sufficient reason to also change my car's licence plate.
  2. LibTiff, as well as AsTiff and probably any TIFF library in the future, is completely transparent as to reading ClassicTIFF and BigTIFF.

This is great, but as we know, the real world mostly uses far crappier code.

  1. When it comes to writing, LibTiff as well as AsTiff and probably any TIFF library in the future, takes the desired version as an option, just like it lets you choose byte order as an option. If this option is propagated to the user, it would stand to reason that this option is presented in the normal flow of a GUI long after file format (and hence file extension) decision has been made.

"One day..."

  1. Currently, LibTiff 4.0 does not allow you to start writing ClassicTIFF and automatically revert to BigTIFF if the file starts exceeding size limits.
  1. The majority of important software that is well maintained and uses LibTiff,

Which is the minority of "software people actually use".

  1.  In my mind, the whole discussion is moat, though. Let's just stick with the actual truth: BigTIFF is a cosmetic operation, BigTIFF is TIFF, so the extension '.tif' stands.

I hate to see this discussion prolonged as much as anyone, but it would be nice to see the *disadvantages* of this policy somehow acknowledged.


  1. I realize I host BigTIFF example files since the beginning of times that have extension '*.btf', since that was the consensus at the time I brew these. However, I'll try and get around to changing them to read '*.tif' instead, some time today.

> _______________________________________________
> Tiff mailing list: Tiff@lists.maptools.org
> http://lists.maptools.org/mailman/listinfo/tiff
> http://www.remotesensing.org/libtiff/