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Comment Re:I absolutely WAS. Was a CMS. Much better now (Score 1) 193

Absolutely PHP was originally for for non-programmers. It was a CMS written in Perl, for people who couldn't use the Perl templating systems directly.

The first sentence is correct. But PHP was written in C, and calling a templating system is pretty generous. :-)

That was a long time ago, of course.

Clearly. :-)

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 2) 206

Your daily newspaper pales in comparison. We are talking about GLOBAL SPEED. They deliver pictures to clients all over the world. Tens of thousands of pictures every day. Clients expect pictures within an hour of the event. THEY DON'T WANT you to manage the image across multiple media and platforms. They just want the JPG from your camera. Fast. They don't want your 20 MB RAW image. They want 8MB JPG. Fast.

Newspapers have websites these days. Everyone works at, uh 'GLOBAL SPEED'. I've covered global news events and delivered scoops. I still shoot RAW, and if Reuters doesn't like it, I'm sure AFP will be happy to have my pics. Frankly, I think wire services in general are ripe for a tech invasion. Reuters' cranial anal insertion is just more evidence of the need for it.

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 1) 206

I wonder if the JPEG recommendation comes from size and archival requirements, plus lawsuits related to decoding all of the various RAW formats.

JPEG is a decent standard, and EXIF metadata makes archiving and retrieval more practicable. But I believe that RAW formats are pretty well understood and widely documented. It's in the camera manufacturer's interest to see these formats well and widely supported. Also, it's just sensor data, ultimately. The data structure is fairly straightforward. I really doubt that reverse engineering these formats would be terribly difficult. And I suspect that, if anything, it will get easier and faster over time, rather than the reverse.

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 2) 206

"And I do not find it one iota easier to manage JPEG files than RAW in our newspaper's workflow."

You missed the entire point of the requirement: TO GET THE IMAGES FASTER TO THE CLIENT.

Did you miss the part where I say I run a daily newspaper? I know the argument for speed. I also know it's bogus, because I live with deadlines every day. And I like RAW better, because I save time when it comes to managing the image across multiple media and platforms.

In those rare cases when even minutes matter, any self-respecting photographer will shoot in RAW+JPEG. Heck, in rare cases, I'll just shoot from my phone and upload instantaneously. But those are exceptional cases, and don't constitute a compelling reason for a total ban on RAW.

Comment Re:Not really a big deal (Score 1) 206

The format requirement change really only does two things:

1) It cuts down storage requirements significantly. Full size 14-bit Raw image on my Nikon D4s is almost 20MB. Full size .jpg at the fine setting is 8MB. ( The D4s only has a 16mp sensor. Crank that up a bit and the file sizes get rather ludicrous. )

2) Separates the pros from the amateurs. A pro knows how to get a good shot without resorting to post to fix things they should have got right in the camera. ( like exposure and white balance )

The first point is reasonable. The RAW files for my D800 are BIG. I can't keep more than about six months' shooting on my computer at any given time, and have to hive the rest off to external RAID. And I'm just one photographer who might shoot a couple thousand shots on a busy week. Reuters has slightly greater storage and archival issues than that. :-)

BUT... when you insist on JPEG straight from the camera, you're also effectively discarding keyword tags, caption, title, and other key data about the file, because it's not easily input into the camera on a shot-by-shot basis. That means that archiving, searching and long-term storage is made way harder. And frankly, if Reuters isn't capable of maintaining a large-scale archive and storage service, then they need to make way for a service that can do it. Heck, Youtube's storage requirements make Reuters' concerns pale by comparison.

The second point is just luddite bullshit, says I. I'm media director for a news company in a small tropical nation. The majority of our population is dark-skinned, and because it's hot, they tend to stay in the shade. The difference between interior and exterior conditions—heck, the transition between one side of the room to another—makes manual metering a pain in the ass. I use the automatic metering on my camera because it fucking works. And I'm a pro. I know how to set my levels, but my levels change so wildly from one shot to the next that I can either cover the news or spend my time futzing with my camera. Which do you think I'll do?

If I have to throw a quick mask over one side of the photo because one subject is standing in sunlight, and the other in shade, then you can bet your bottom dollar I'll do it. And I'll do it in RAW because that's technically the best way to process the image data. This 'minimal editing' line is full of shit. And the assertion that 'real' photographers don't need RAW is full of shit as well. Just because we can in theory do something the hard way doesn't mean that we don't have better things to do when we're trying to cover the news.

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 4, Interesting) 206

While we aim for photography of the highest aesthetic quality, our goal is not to artistically interpret the news. [...] Speed is also very important to us. We have therefore asked our photographers to skip labour and time consuming processes to get our pictures to our clients faster.

Which doesn't mean they're trying to prevent people from faking photos; as that line is clearly referring to the "minimal editing" part of the above guidelines, and the "JPG not RAW" is just for workflow-related reasons.

Yes, they're being euphemistic and mashing over-processing in with outright manipulation, because I doubt Reuters would win a lot of friends among the professional photography establishment if they implied that their contributors were a bunch of crooks.

But the point of the thing is that 'minimal editing' has nothing to do with the format you capture your images in. And furthermore, it's easier to track 'minimal editing' with RAW than it is in JPEG, because editing tools actually maintain an audit trail of sorts. The bottom line is that the measure does nothing to get them where they want to go, except in the minds of a few not-so-sophisticated editors.

Full disclosure: I'm media director of the newspaper of record in a small country, a news photographer who has contributed to wire services, and a geek. I also wrote this submission. And I do not find it one iota easier to manage JPEG files than RAW in our newspaper's workflow. In fact, JPEG is a pain the ass compared to RAW, especially when you're targeting multiple media with the same image. Because the shot you upload to your website is going to be significantly different in size, colour and compression from the one that goes to pre-press. If you take them both from the same canonical source (or Nikonical source, if that's your poison), then life is much, much easier.

Submission + - Reuters bans RAW photo format. (

grcumb writes: Reuters is the latest agency to join the ranks of the technically clueless who think that ethical problems can be solved using technical means. They recently issued a circular to their contributors, stating in part: "In future, please don’t send photos to Reuters that were processed from RAW or CR2 files. If you want to shoot raw images that’s fine, just take JPEGs at the same time. Only send us the photos that were originally JPEGs, with minimal processing...." The problem they claim to be addressing is doctored images, but they don't explain how they plan to ensure that the JPEGs weren't simply exported from RAW files with their EXIF data altered, or heck, just altered as JPEG. They also assert that getting JPEG files straight from the camera is quicker, which is fair enough. Lots of professionals shoot with RAW+JPEG at newsworthy events. They can send the JPEGs off quickly to meet the first deadline, then process the RAW files at leisure for higher quality publications.

Comment Re:Not programming semantics, but the coder (Score 4, Funny) 576

Even better is having an "Undo" button (or in the case of a forum like this, an "Edit" button).

The reason for not having UNDO should be obvious:

Someone writes a post saying, 'Bieber is such a dick! Post below if you agree.' Hundreds do.

Then the OP edits the post to read, 'Dick tastes great! Post below if you agree.'

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 5, Interesting) 410

I certainly don't expect 100% perfection when bombing anything, which is why I always call bullshit when our politicians say we'll use "smart" bombs or "surgical air strikes" when trying to justify attacking someone.

I used to feel the same, until I visited Belgrade. The Ministry of Defence building was hit by three bombs, each of which penetrated about 4 floors and then exploded. Damage to adjacent buildings (i.e. within 20-50 metres of the blast) was limited to broken windows and surface chips and abrasions. I saw another dozen or so buildings—quite pointedly left unrepaired during negotiations to enter the EU—all around downtown Belgrade that were the same.

Likewise Slobodan Milosevic's residence in a nearby suburb, located where all the diplomatic compounds were. You pass by row upon row of pretty 18th and 19th Century houses, each on a nicely tended plot of land, then there's a gap where Milosevic's house used to be, then another house, and another.

After this, I changed my estimation of how precision such bombing efforts could be....

... And then... I found out that they left all the really precision attacks to the French, because the Americans had a reputation for missing. :-)

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz