[ardour-dev] documentation

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Sun Nov 21 03:26:53 PST 2004

several people have written recently about documentation.  there are
people on the list who don't know about the situation with ardour's
documentation, so i should probably explain.

ardour has taken me nearly 5 years to write. during that time, i have
received donations of about $2K from users, and the rest of the
US$250,000 or so that it has cost to support my family has come from
money i made from my brief employment with amazon.com. there is not
much money left to do this with, perhaps another 6-10 months, and then
i have to do something else. i am already interviewing for other work
because of this.

it is not at easy to come up with a plan to make money from software
like ardour. it is a niche market with very little flowing around, an
800lb gorilla sitting in the corner (digidesign), a lot of competition
and a lot of illegal distribution of both DAWs and plugins. oh, and i
give the program away :)

among the various half-formed plans that i have (they may never come
to fruition) is to sell the manual for a reasonably significant sum of
money. the only way i can feel comfortable with that is if i write the
manual myself.

obviously, people could volunteer to help with it, but it has to be
with the clear and absolutely unambiguous understanding that there
*might* be a real revenue stream from the manual and they will see
*none* of it. not because they don't deserve it, but because i need it:)

one way to avoid this particular plan would be to set up something
roughly equivalent to the blender foundation. it wouldn't take a lot:
3 companies throwing in $15K/yr each would be sufficient. blender gets
EU funding and support for Apple and some other companies, to the tune
of about $1M last year. if something like this happened, i could
forget the manual as a centerpiece of my plans, and open it up to a
much more cooperative process.


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