Your argument seems to be that PL is a raw editor and therefore it is basically malpractice to try to further process tiffs and/or jpgs. That argument would carry more weight, at least with me, if PL just did not open and edit tiffs and jpgs. That is, if you are right, then why does PL even open tiffs and jpgs and allow me to edit them? And if it is going to allow me to edit tiffs and jpgs, why will it not allow me to open and edit one returned from an external pixel editor?
The fact is that there are some edits that can only be done in a pixel editor and which are so central to processing an image that it then needs further processing which can not be done until those critical edits are completed. Lens flare is one of those, adding or removing things to an image is another, and there are more such edits. Your suggestion would limit PL to only doing the initial processing. I would add to that two more things. One, the comment by the Dxo staff member in this thread:
I can see the limitation here and how this makes no sense to not have this. Having a feature that exports an image to another app, where you can actually modify it, means you want that image to be updated when you come back
That is right. Having the functionality to export to another application makes no sense if you don’t expect to get it back for further processing. This is done in the Windows version so your argument would seem to be either that it is OK to do this in the Windows version but not in the Mac, or the Dxo staff did not know that they were making a mistake when they fixed it in the Windows version. Neither of those makes sense to me.
Second, as I pointed out, every other raw converter workflow on the market accepts that exporting to an external editor implies that the image will come back for further editing. What is it that makes PhotoLab different from those tools? CaptureOne is a professional workflow tool that is a raw converter, and it not only does “round-tripping” with images, it advertises that as a central and core function. Or course LR does it, as does AlienSkin’s Exposure X3/4, Corel’s AfterShot Pro, ACDSee’s Photo Studio and all of the others. They are all raw converters, some better than others.
I understand that your workflow does not require (or will not allow) images to “round-trip” to an external editor, but I do not see why your workflow is any more “correct” than mine, which does allow images to “round trip”. All that I am trying to do is make my images the best that I can make them and do so with the least amount of work, and for me that means “round-tripping” those images.
Dxo can make whatever processing decisions they wish. If they wish to continue to disallow “round-tripping” of images that is their choice, but I also can make the the same decisions as they apply to whatever processor I choose to buy and, for me, that functionality is important and central to my workflow.
You mentioned that PhotoLab is not a DAM. True enough, although it seems to be headed in that direction. You also said that it is not an all-in-one image management program, but then neither is Lightroom unless you consider Lightroom and Photoshop to be a single processing entity. Personally I need both the ease of a workflow tool that is also a raw editor and an external pixel editor to take care of my images and I need them to be able to interact. My choice for that is PhotoLab and Photoshop, provided Dxo will allow me to use them that way. If not, then I will replace PhotoLab with something that will.