25 Aug 2000 gtaylor   » (Master)

Robert wrote a little program to extract all the argument information from his stp driver, so now Foomatic contains complete details on executing that driver for Epson printers. It has the Canon data, too, although I haven't finished marking the stp driver on the Canon printers themselves. And of course I didn't get to the PCL driver yet.

I did asorted minor rearranging of LinuxPrinting, including proper toplevel pages for foomatic and the database itself, rather than having them accessed in various ways from random points in the rest of the site. And I added a long overdue little form for people to directly select a particular printer; before, confused people had occasionally mistaken the "new printer" dialog for a search box, resulting in random new empty printer records from time to time...

I've settled on a design scheme to get the bulk of Foomatic's code out from my web server to where other people can hack at both the raw data-to-ppd/pdq/lom code and the filter scripts. Letting people work on both ends like this should improve the appeal of the thing to sensible cathedral-wary folk.

The Linux Hardware Database was sold to ZDNet. LinHardware is very similar to my own site, differing mainly in having broader but shallower device coverage. This spawned a bit of soul-searching on my part. I've got a website that represents some 8 years of effort on my part, not to mention a delightful hobby. Viewed from an accounting perspective, however, it's a large nonliquid asset, and something of a resource hog: I give it most of my free time, and derive fewer benefits from it than my time is worth by most any metric. As it expands, it will surpass my spare-time capacity, and it's unclear what happens then. So I'm formulating two opposite plans from which to chose: an exit path (sell? give away? let rot?) and an "entry" path (self supported, for profit full time operation). The entry path is, I think, viable, but I'm rather risk averse, and it doesn't fit in with the rest of my life right now. So I'd like to identify an exit path which preserves everything that's good about the site (voice, interactivity, focus, free licensing, etc). Unfortunately the traditional exit path-outright sale-provides no guarantees for these things. I'm stumped.

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