Just some thoughts here gained in the light of my experience doing what must now be thought of as a pilot for this project. The ideas that have been put forward already are all good and I cheer the enthusiasm with which, in general, appears to exist.
These are my opinions.
The product should be a complete set of Yowls and not just Technicalities. My reasoning is that, for the amount of extra work required, it would be far better to have access to everything available rather than just the technical issues thought by the compiler/s to be useful. A complete history has to be better than an abridged version.
The format for this project should be Adobe .pdf. It gives us the best of both worlds in so much as the representation of the original Yowl article can be displayed/printed as it was in the original and also fully searchable for text. This is achieved during the scanning process, and is one of the reasons it takes so long, by creating a text file that sits behind the scenes out of site and when searched highlights the appropriate page and word in the original Yowl format. There is also the question of free viewing software that is a bonus and also the fact that everyone else who has done this in the past has elected to use Adobe, which has to be a good sign.
It would be almost impossible to farm out this work to a number of different people to produce a part each as the differences in scanning equipment and the various settings used in the software need to remain constant in order to produce a finished item that looked and behaved consistently.
The costs are interesting. I am sure that the graft that goes into actually scanning and then indexing and then formatting the page numbers is going to be expensive and I suggest we ask the Morgan OC who did theirs (as we have proof that they can do a good job) and ask for a quote. As far as producing the CD’s is concerned then anyone who has access to a CD writer can run off CD’s for less than £1. The most significant saving is postage – a couple of CD’s v. Techs !
Why should we do it? I have no doubt that, as time goes by, the number of users of this forum with increase and it will be the normal route through which new members are recruited. If we cannot supply this sort of information – and I would go much further over time with the addition of marque photos and the various books “available” by Messers Stephens, Clew and Underhill – people will not be convinced that we are serious.
I would also like to see a spares listing on the web site.
Anyway enough from me. I am truly sorry that I could not complete the project for reasons beyond my control but at least I can offer the benefit of the experience to others who will take up the torch.