No arguments from me in regard to debunking the “open movies/projects are useless” meme. Anyone rationally looking at the development of Blender will note certain leaps forward during & just after these projects. The new 2.5 user interface, Cycles, even Rigify are all improvements stemming from work during these projects.
My concern/query isn’t whether the open films/projects are useless (they’re not), but more about how much value the Blender Foundation (& hence Blender software) is getting from them as compared to the value the Blender Institute (& film makers working with/for it) get instead. That is, are the projects the best way of funding Blender and, if not, what is the best way?
Deliberately or otherwise, it seems impossible to give to the Blender Foundation without the film-making side of things being able to take a cut. Regardless of whether one thinks there are benefits to game development in Gooseberry or not, the donations from Steam were sent to the Blender Foundation, yet were redirected to a Blender Institute campaign. The Blender Cloud is providing the same content as one used to need the Blender eShop for and the money is going to the Blender Institute. And so on.
I was under the impression from Ton’s earlier commentary on the venture that the Blender Institute was meant to be a separate organisation so the Blender Foundation would be insulated from the commercial success/failure of Institute projects. However it is, more & more, looking like the Blender Foundation has been made somewhat subordinate/subsidiary to Institute activities & funding.
Now, I could be wrong about all this, but there are no public financials with which to counter that impression.
Well, there are also instances where user feedback is sought, receives the desired testing & commentary based on that from the community, and still the feature doesn’t make it through.
Somewhat hard to blame a user community for failing to test & provide feedback when popular features are tested, feedback provided, and the feature gets vetoed. Especially when said feature comes from a trusted developer, the feature doesn’t replace any existing functionality, and we’re told the person vetoing the feature really doesn’t have anything against it… but still doesn’t want it committed to trunk.
This isn’t to drag that feature up for a decision change but simply to provide the other side of the coin. That is, the view from those in the community that become discouraged from providing said feedback/testing.