When we first created ITK, there’s a reason we adopted a tool metaphor. We wanted to amplify the concept that tools are used to make things. Sure, it can be fun to become an expert in a particular tool (or toolkit!), but what matters most is not the tool itself. What matters is the thing you make.

The tool metaphor also highlights the fact that tools can be used in lots of different ways. A claw hammer can be used to sink a nail into a piece of wood. It can also be used to pull the nail out. I bought a screwdriver so that I could drive screws. But do you know what I mostly use that tool for? Prying open paint cans. And don’t get me started on my power drill (which I mostly use to drive screws, not to drill holes).

In keeping with this metaphor, we encourage creative use of the ITK tools. You are free to use these tools far beyond the typical applications and standard procedures. Avoid theĀ  purist approach, as if there is only One Correct Way to use the ITK tools.

By all means, use your hammer to sink a nail. Just keep in mind that it can also do the opposite.