Will the Future of Digital Images Be Open?

The OpenRaw Working Group launches a Web site to work for open documentation of all Raw file formats.

The OpenRaw Working Group has launched a Web site, www.openraw.org, to promote open documentation of Raw file formats.

Juergen Specht, a Japan-based photographer who is spearheading the OpenRaw group, used the analogy of baking a cake to describe what the public documentation of the format would mean in the future.

"The file formats are just the ingredients, and the final result is a cake [the image]. The OpenRaw workgroup does not want the camera makers to publish their recipe [the algorithms they use to convert their Raw file into an image], just the ingredients. With this knowledge, everybody can bake a cake [create an image from a Raw file format], but there is more than one way to do it," said Specht.

As evidenced by the heavy comment postings on its Web site, the group has plenty of support among digital photography professionals. Specht said there has been no official feedback from any camera makers.

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