The Unidentified Flying Raw (UFRaw) is a utility to read and manipulate raw images from digital cameras. It can be used on its own or as a Gimp plug-in. It reads raw images using Dave Coffin's raw conversion utility - DCRaw. UFRaw supports color management workflow based on Little CMS, allowing the user to apply ICC color profiles. For Nikon users UFRaw has the advantage that it can read the camera's tone curves. Even if you don't own a Nikon, you can still apply a Nikon curve to your images.
The guiding concept of UFRaw is to give all the essential (and some non-essential) information and control over the raw conversion, with the hope that one could resolve all the exposure and white balance issues during the raw conversion. The obvious advantage is that one can make full use of the raw data. The provisional advantage is that this way we circumvent the current 8-bit limitation of the Gimp, as UFRaw does all manipulations in 16-bits.