Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> I.e., few to none of the Vai people.

In the business world today, computer and information products are built
and marketed for an increasingly shrinking target target segment.

A perusal of the repositories of free and shareware software
( and are examples of each) will show that
many people have made software, often on a individual basis as ME seems
to be doing, with no reasonable expectation of ever finding an audience
of even as much as the number of Vai who would be able to use and
English keyboard right out of the box.

Similarly, there are lots of software available from academics,
especially grad students and professors that is even more finely
targeted - built and released and supported without *any* expectation of
ever having users.

There are films that go straight to DVD, pirate radio stations, web
sites, books, e-books, mailing lists, etc. with almost immeasurable
audiences. Many people would be satisfied with just one or even "few"
users, readers, or whatever. Look at the membership numbers of a chunk
of yahoo groups mailing lists, e.g. and notice how many of them have
"<5" members. But they are allowed and even encouraged to exist in a
world where there are probably some lists with > 100K members.

What are their motivations? It varies, but the fact is it is a big
world, and there are enough people doing projects like this that exist.
If Michael wants to build his kb, and even if not one single person ever
adopts it, I bet ME would say the effort was worth it because the
experience he gained was something he could apply to the other projects
he works on. Even if he had to live the rest of his life getting an
email every day from PTD saying "I told you no one would use it", I am
certain he would still find the effort valuable and worthwhile.