Not only that, though. I've started reading photo journals and magazines from the late 1800's, ie pre-Kodak. In fact, one issue from 1884 gave details of one of Eastman's original patent submissions. Another article I read was about going out for a demonstration (we'd call it a review today) of the original Kodak box camera with 100 exposures inside that you sent back for processing. (The newspaper editor receiving the demo was rather dubious that the product would ever catch on!) Anyway, my point is that there was no Kodak and although there were small vendors of materials it was an enthusiast market and they all made their own stuff. There was an atmosphere of experimentation and sharing as they each found the next great thing. It was all incredibly "high-tech" stuff. But also, the amatuer enthusiasts could be, and were, just about as deep into it as the corporate giants (such as they were) of the time. And, you might be surprised at how little the technology has changed since that time, other than the major leaps like panchromatic dyes. It's amazing what those guys knew!...want to be certain a proven replacement is available in case Kodak's B&W division is dismantled.
In a post-Kodak world, should that come to pass - and maybe even if it doesn't, I believe we analog folks will come full circle and pick up much where these guys left off when Kodak, Agfa and Ilford seriously entered the picture and it became much more practical to buy economical well made materials than to try to understand and make them your self.
The big difference for us being that we know what's possible because it has already been done. But unless the treasure trove knowledge vaults of Eastman Kodak are suddenly spilled open, we will have to follow the bread crumbs and re-discover it all. So. it's you filling in a developer here, me figuring out how to coat PET in another thread, Denise with an emulsion, PE sharing everything that he knows, Holmbergers up to something, and someone else creating a great new formula or method for something else that will pick up all these pieces and everyone can play a part. Maybe the world is opening up - not shutting down.
So, your developer is great stuff! Can't wait to try it!
(enough of the cathartic now)