Yes, I agree that the price sought by Denis is seemingly unrealistic: it's not that they sell a living company, they sell a code for which the main developer has sadly not with us anymore, hence nobody can actually continue the project with fast revenues. The most realistic option is indeed open source. Or maybe some crowedsourcing.
I support your attempt to contact him again.
I'm sure that Basil's code has little if any documentation, and given that it evolved over many years (several decades, I think), it is likely to a bit of a mess. My guess is that a programmer would want to use modern tools and start from scratch --- that would be faster than trying to figure out the existing code. (That's what I did myself recently with a large project with a similar history.)
I cannot see how the project could be financially viable. If a programmer is devoted to the project, as Basil was, then sure, the revenue might pay the web hosting fees plus provide a bit of pocket money. But revenue beyond that seems unlikely.
The best bet to preserve Basil's legacy would be to open-source the project, but Dennis doesn't seem interested in that.
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