From this Apple document, seems that those companies are indeed bringing extensions for Photos. Not sure if they will be indeed non-destructive as initially advertised.
Since the Apple document you referenced claims that you can always recover the original, I’m curious about your doubts. What am I missing?
“Note: Whether you edit a photo with third-party extensions or the built-in tools Photos offers, you can always revert back to the photo’s original state. Double-click the photo to open it in single view, click Edit, then click Revert to Original.”
If you recall, in Aperture, with its native adjustments, the RAW file is not modified AND a jpg is not generated (other than the preview). Aperture just makes a small text file with all the adjustments. This allows multiple versions without increasing significantly the size of your library. This was called non-destructive adjustment.
Plug-ins for Aperture, on the other had, had the file exported to whatever format you wanted (TIFF, etc), the worked on the plugin and re-imported into Aperture (usually as a large file). The changes were “baked” into the file, hence it was called destructive editing.
When Photos was launched, with the new PhotoKit they were saying that the extensions would be able to tap directly into the RAW file without the need to export/import roundtrip and subsequently adding a new file to the library.
What I have seen in Photos so far with the extension is that it does the same as plug-in, generating a jpg file. When you click “Revert to Original” it simply delete the jpg and shows the RAW again. Also, you cannot go back into that edit done with the extension and change it, the changes are baked into that JPG. You have to do it all over again if you want to edit again with that extension. That was not what it was advertised…
Thanks for your helpful comments. The plug-in model with Aperture is something I prefer to avoid because of the resulting baked-in large file. With respect to Photos, I guess I was using a much less demanding definition of non-destructive - in that the original photo can still be recovered. Since my MacPhun extensions will not be compatible with Photos until mid-October, I cannot yet test them.
With iCloud Photo Library, all edits are non-destructive. All transformations are stored in the library in a way that the extension can make future changes. Check out the wwdc 2015 videos on it.
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