Short answer to the question in your heading is No, there is no Aperture without the library. When Aperture the app starts up it has to have a library to open.
The closest you can come is to have the originals as referenced and then any program can get to them. But they will only be getting the unmodified original image. No adjustments, no keywords, etc.
As Frank said, the answer is "No".
Canam Carlo wrote:
I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thank you much.
1. Aperture is software dedicated to two tasks, elegantly blended into one workspace. The two tasks are
- storing, annotating, and retrieving digital Images, and
- developing those Images for publication or for use in other programs.
It is state-of-the-art (or nearly so) for each of those tasks. As such, any use of it should embrace each of them. To use one and not the other is to cripple a good bit of what makes Aperture such a useful photographer's tool.
2. Aperture features two important innovations: it is a non-destructive editor (your original files are _never_ altered), and it is engineered to take very clever advantage of the current state of hardware. It does this by _not_ saving edited versions of your Images -- it saves large thumbnails (called Previews) and it saves as a text file the instructions it uses to render your full-size Images. It does this on-the-fly, as-needed. When Aperture is closed, there is no full-size file of your edited Image.
3. Aperture should be thought of as a conduit between your camera (which you use to record data) and developed digital image files (which you produce by exporting from Aperture). There is no access to what is inside the conduit except by using Aperture.
4. The problem (as I see it) is that we assume that "photo" means something useful. This was not true in the film era (negative? print?) and is especially misleading in the digital era. You say "I would like to have my photos available outside of the Aperture library. ". Define "photos". How does that differ from "file"? Do you mean the files produced by your camera, or the files that are used to create what you see in Aperture as an Image? Do you mean the large thumbnails used as place-holders in Aperture? Do you mean share-able image-format files that you can use with other programs of the Images in Aperture?
These last -- most likely what you mean in this case -- do not exist until you create them by using Aperture's Export function. The answer to your initial question isn't just no -- it's that the question doesn't make sense until you define what you mean by "photos".