Excellent article @prokoudine !
I would like to refer to the last paragraph:
And the other conversation is whether funding development of any free/libre NLE is realistic at all. Consider this. The most any crowdfunding effort got in terms of the number of supporters is OpenShot and its 1,463 backers. However, at the minute of publishing this article, 6,148 people voted for the Adobe Premiere port to Linux (voted, not paid for, mind you).
The question why so many Linux users vote for porting Adobe Premiere to linux instead of getting involved in supporting a free alternative is an interesting one.
I belong to one of the countless “ordinary” users who at a certain point was forced to free himself from the constraints of proprietary enslavement.
When I switched to linux years ago, there was no substitute for video editing in the world of free software, not because I had very high expectations of having an equivalent product to Adobe Premiere, but because free software alternatives lacked fundamental functionality and stability.
I remember when I worked on a school project and convinced school principals to install Kdnlive and Openshot on their school computers, and had to permanently force students to save their montages on a regular basis while working, because the data loss was unavoidable after frequent crashes.
You can imagine how difficult it was to convince the school management about the advantages of free software and to draw attention to the difficulty that free software is confronted with, if the tasks could only be done by detours and with the greatest effort.
So, from the perspective of the school management, there is no option to ask about the alternative. They have neither the expertise or manpower nor the time to develop free alternatives. However, they have a budget to pay for annual licenses for software that is ready for the task.
Now the question is, what would be necessary that these funds somehow flow into the development of free software?
To be honest - and the article by Alex shows this very clearly - I don’t know what I could recommend to the school management if they were willing to invest in free video editing software.
In my opinion, next to a very broad ecosystem (which can be seen very well from the above graphic), there is still a big discrepancy between the views of developers and users on what should happen to the project when it has reached critical mass to become a possible competitor for established proprietary products and be perceived accordingly by the wider public.
On one side many developers are afraid of losing their “playground” and being forced to take on an additional responsibility, which requires appropriate effort, knowledge and time that they don’t have at their disposal.
On the other hand, we have many potential users who have similar difficulties, not too much knowledge, time and willingness to get involved in software projects, but are willing to invest money in software with which they can perform their tasks with expectations of how the software should work.
What free software needs are people like Ton Roosendaal for Blender, who have authority, competence and enthusiasm to connect these two sides.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a person, it can also be an instance that is switched between the developers and the users.