"The RAW file format is digital photography's equivalent of a negative in film photography" so says the tutorial to which this post is linked. From my limited black and white dark room photography, I think it is far easier and no "fixer" smell either.
I initially began shooting in jpg (jpeg) format with my first digital camera because there wasn't a RAW option. I learned about RAW when I began submitting my photos to stock photography sites. Once I bought my DSLR (still use the same one) I began using RAW. I love the diversity it gives me in processing. Of course, there are pros and cons so you can learn much more from reading the tutorial titled Raw File Format.