My apologies, I’m not sure what you mean by “apply” and “assign” semantics, but it seems you are talking about something I wrote in an article on my website. Could you give a link?
Hmm, when you say that “opening a raw with a camera profile and applying a working profile at the start . . . seems to oversaturate the colors, far more than I’d expect”, this indicates to me that somewhere there is a problem in the color management chain, but as I said, I’m not sure what you mean by “applying a working profile”.
If “applying a working profile” means “assign the camera input profile to the interpolated raw file, and then convert to the RGB working space profile”, then the image should look pretty much the same before and after the conversion, all things being equal. “All things being equal” covers things like the respective color gamuts of your monitor profile and your working space, and the actual colors in the raw file as interpreted by assigning the camera input profile to the interpolated raw file, and of course presumes that color management is being used to send the image to the screen.
This morning I tried to compile rawproc from git to get a handle on how color management is being handled, but gave up when I realized that first I’d have to download and compile wxWidgets from git. That’s a huge download. I thought wxWidgets was available from Gentoo portage, but if it is, maybe it’s under some other name?
As far as what I personally want from raw processors, that’s fairly well covered by PhotoFlow, darktable, and RawTherapee. Though I still would like a raw processor that is as fast as ufraw/nufraw, and works more or less like ufraw/nufraw, but with true exposure compensation (https://ninedegreesbelow.com/bug-reports/ufraw-highlights.html), with the AMAZE algorithm, and with floating point tiff and/or exr output. This is one of the reasons why “compile and try rawproc” is on my “to do” list - I was wondering if rawproc might be a possible replacement for ufraw/nufraw.
Oh, yes I do appreciate the angst . Several years ago, when I spent some time modifying dcraw to make its internal processing be floating point and to add some additional interpolation algorithms, my appreciation for developers increased exponentially. Learning enough c code to modify dcraw and get it to run was not easy!
While working on the dcraw code I learned about projects that developed various interpolation algorithms not in dcraw, such as the people working on Guillermo Luijk’s PerfectRaw (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/software/perfectraw/ - not to be confused with the totally unrelated PhotoShop colorneg/perfectcolor/perfectraw plug-ins) and the followup coding efforts by Rawness, RawTherapee, LibRaw and other groups involved with writing raw processing code. Wow! so much work and creativity has gone into and continues to go into our raw processing programs!
On the same line of thought, free/libre software depends on people volunteering their time and effort for coding, and also for providing feedback, making good bug reports and following through with testing, reading and responding to bug reports (that’s a huge task all by itself), helping to write user manuals, helping each other on mailing lists and in forums like pixls.us, writing articles and making videos on free/libre software, setting up and maintaining forums and mailing lists, and on and on.
It’s the sum total of everyone’s efforts that makes free/libre software possible. But without the time and effort of all the developers who write the actual code for free/libre software, there’d be nothing at all for the rest of us to contribute to.