(this is a long message, if moderators remove it I understand)
Maybe I was a bit unclear, I don’t think Naith is useless (I think exactly the opposite). The point is that I think everyone here is already involved in a Panda project (otherwise, why does he stay here?), so there are already many projects based on Panda. There are more than 4000 users, not all active, and more people are on the same project, but it’s reasonable to think that there are many projects active. Suppose for example that there are 20 active projects, is a big difference (from the point of view of Panda) if there were 21 active projects?
And I think that it’s also a negative thing (from the point of view of Panda) to have many little projects (that is, if you share your time between your project and the “open” project). Because an engine improves when an application that use it is hitting a limit, so the application is “constrained” to enrich the engine. So, it’s better (for Panda) if you allocate your time on doing a complex application and not on doing two simpler applications.
What I would say with the previous message was that we’re already allocated on many projects (everyone here is involved in a project), and I don’t see a drastic improvement with one more project. Instead, other forms of collaboration are (imho) better (obviously doing one more project is better than nothing).
Maybe the key point of your idea could be to make an open project. If that’s the case, I disagree that an open project is (from the point of view of Panda) better than a closed one. What keep in life an open source project (in this case, Panda) is the work of the developers mainly, but also upstream contibutions have their importance. And those come up both with open and closed project. Ok, BSD license doesn’t force you to release code, but if you improve the Panda engine and you don’t release the code, you’re doing a very stupid thing. If you submit your modifications, and if these are interesting and merged, all the activity of maintaining them will be done by developers. If you keep your code secret, for each new release you’ve to integrate it. And after some releases there could be lot of differences and the integration could be dramatic. Or impossible (for example if developers remove methods you’ve used - obviously this doesn’t happen if you release modifications). This is why people release improvements also if they aren’t forced: it’s convenient. So, shortly, I don’t think there’s a real difference (for the improvent of Panda) between open and closed projects.
Generally, the success of an open source project is determined by developers (mostly) and community. A good community has a big role. A project has many components: code, documentation, support, testing, promotion… Not everyone can do all these things but in a good community you’ll find a good coverage. And it’s more likely to find a good coverage in a big community. So the key point is to work in the direction of enlarging the community. If you’ve a big community, it’s more likely to find good coders, good people that document, good people that support, … If there was a good coder and when he was selecting his engine he discarded Panda, Panda has lost a potentially good contributor. So, the key is to do what everyone can do to make Panda better. Not everybody can code, not everybody can document, not everybody can support, but everybody can do one of these things.
Maybe a diffuse misconception is that not everybody see that each activity you can do on the “ecosystem” of the engine has a direct impact on the development (of the engine). Developers work on code, but also on documentation, on support, on testing, on bugfixing, … (because they understand that’s important to enlarge the community) If, for example, you help someone on the forum, you’re saving the developers’ time. Because if you take some time to help a person, the developer won’t need to help him, and so he could allocate that time on making cool things for the engine. And the same is valid for documentation and all the other things. So, your contributions are (almost) a direct contribution to the development of the engine. And these are a direct contribute for the enlargement of the community, because better documentation/testing/features/support are things that keep users to Panda.
This is the spiral that gives life to all open source projects. You help a person, he doesn’t give up, he stay on the project, and in the future he could help (with support/documentation/code/…), and you’ll benefit from his contributions. So you get benefits from your own work. This is a win-win situation. So, with little work you’ll get a much better engine.
What I want to say is to think carefully to where to allocate your energies. Everyone has little time to work “for” Panda, and you can’t be wrong, in the interest of Panda. So, I only want to say that having one more project (subtracting that time from another Panda project) is less important that “directly” work for the engine. If you work very well on one beatiful project is sufficient, and you can get better results (and this is a direct form of promotion for Panda).
Sorry for the long post and for the ugly english. It should be terrible to read my writings.
Obviously I think many people already know the “concepts” I’ve written, but I’ve written these for the others. All the considerations made here are only an opinion, personal, I respect all the other points of view.