2004.02.09 20:12 "Re: [Tiff] Photoshop 8.0 and libtiff", by Bob Friesenhahn
Improving the API to support iterative access to a strip would be a superior solution. Then an unsigned 32-bit offset type and a signed 32-bit size type would be more than sufficient. Does this iterative interface already exist?
Your point is good, but the "trick" is that libtiff already "auto-splits" single strip files into more managable strips under some circumstances (it has to be uncompressed I think). So, it should be practical to work with these large one-strip files as long as they aren't compressed.
The limitation that this only works for uncompressed files is counter-productive. If TIFF is just an archive storage format, rather than the native "working" format, then it makes sense to enable compression so the required file size is smaller (i.e. much more likely to be under 4GB).