I spent some time the last few days playing around with an Aperture Plug-in. My idea was to create a plug-in that could address a big problem for those of us still using Aperture — lack of camera support. The macOS blocks new camera support from Aperture, so the two new cameras I bought recently get the dreaded black “unsupported image” square when I import their images.
I figured that if I could write a plug-in that could decode images (using the RAW Power engine), I could output TIFFs back to Aperture, and all would be well. Once that worked, I could make something more sophisticated that could allow editing of images by invoking the RAW Power app. Sounds good.
After some rummaging, I was able to find a download link to the Aperture SDK, and was actually able to build and install a sample plug-in. Kind of amazing, really. I started getting excited about the prospects and then a bucket of cold water got dumped on my head: if an image is unsupported, Aperture refuses to send it to a plugin. A bunch of work down the drain.
Then I tried the other kind of Aperture plug-in: the export plugin. A bucket of iced tea this time. Aperture sends the unsupported file (yay!), but shortly after that, Aperture throws an exception and crashes (no!). The crash only happens with unsupported images and I can’t catch or block the exception. Close, but another dead end.
This brings up a question: is there any reason to write a RAW Power plug-in for Aperture that works for supported images? I can’t think of one, though I have gotten requests for it many times. Maybe those requests are for camera support, which won’t work.
If not Aperture, would plug-ins be truly useful for Lightroom, or maybe Luminar / Photoshop / Affinity? If you have an opinion, please comment below.
Happy New Year!