ExactImage had digital still camera RAW loading (aka decoding) support for over 2 years now, already.
While “RAW” images differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, from model to model and sometimes are even obfuscated by the vendor to prevent loading and creating solutions by third parties, ExactImage supported a wide range of RAW formats thanks to the embedded dcraw copy. Copy, because the orignal project is only available as a command line program and not in form of a library - and ExactImage needs to have some more control about how the image data is passed around, e.g. coming in from a database, network or are just keapt in memory and not to be processed fragilily thru sub-processes and pipes. We wrapped the plain ANSI dcraw C code with some macros to transform the ordinary C FILE* access to C++ std::iostreams and get rid of it’s main() function and call into the code from our library flow of execution. So we also had to update our support glue in order to update the aging dcraw copy.
But aside vastly increasing the number of supported models, we also added support code to allow extracting thumbnails via the ExactImage library and thus allow creating an overview / gallery of a bunch of RAW images in just the time you need to snip your fingers:
econvert –decompress thumb -i dcraw:img_0123.cr2 …
If batch image processing is something you where looking for or already performing maybe just give it a try, some distributions are alreaady including it and apparently it’s also on the way into Debian.
Of course the functinoality is not only available thru the command line frontend “econvert”, but also thru the external library interface, also wrapped by SWIG to Lua, Perl, PHP, Python, etc.