Somebody reported a post in this thread... it didn't really matter which one. A bit of chilling would be good. There are a few people that have failed to chill. There are quite a few statements here I'd respond to in person myself, and some very sharply, but internet discussions are more fragile and more prone to derailment. So I'll try to stick to what seems to be the core of the matter.
Which for me (and granted, I'm picking a recent post -- I've read the thread, but don't remember when this came up first in this thread) is along the lines of what Jamuk said. I'm being asked to assume risk. I don't accept assessments of the risk as extraordinarily slight -- I've seen no sound basis for those assessments here. I also don't think the currently proposed licensing/obfuscation method of putting the cat back into the bag would work -- with a principal downside being that it requires me to turn into an asshole who, after initially sanctioning the process, breaks everything that people have been working on. Publishing an API and then trying to reel it back in just seems completely unworkable and irresponsible to me. So the point is to assess risk upfront and then make a decision I can live with.
And right now, I have no idea what would happen. This isn't the same as leaving my math job or adding the Z coordinate. The first was a decision I had to make personally for my quality of life, and the second was a calculated risk which I didn't really have strong misgivings about (though some people are still pro-2D version, I think I can get most of them what they want over time in terms of gameplay difficulty, etc., though it'll never feel like it's quite on that rail again most likely). Do I accept that third parties could improve the interface? Of course. Do I think I could do better than a third party myself, even over time? No, not at all, though I can certainly improve on what I've got now to a large degree even without external input (which I, of course, love to receive). So, initially, there's some attraction to the third party interface idea.
However, reflecting on the position I'd be in, there are things not to like about it. How many threads were there about broken utilities when this version came out? If more than half the player base comes in off a third party interface (and given how much the current interface sucks, and how much it is a source of first time downloaders dropping the game, this is not only imaginable, it is very, very likely), how would it be if it broke at each release? There's no way to mitigate that without my direct involvement -- imagine a release down the line where you can suddenly move dwarven armies around on the world map, with a tactical view and various options. That interface can't write itself, and it wouldn't be a quick patch, though certainly dedicated people, assuming that about whoever is maintaining the front-end at that time, can pull things together rapidly. The pressure on me to work directly with them to get the interface out at the same time as the game itself would likely be immense and disruptive, given what little evidence we have from broken utilities. That's not to say that I often get requests to work with utility writers (other than from the writers themselves, who I generally accommodate), but this would be at a different order of magnitude.
So what's the exact risk there then? First, I don't want to work with other people. So, assuming I don't do that, there's now a constant amount of pressure on me and a general disruption in the forums. The latter could be mitigated with some announcements/guidelines, etc., but the pressure wouldn't go away. Monetarily, it's impossible to say what on earth would happen, but if I supported the third party interface directly pre-release, I'd likely make more money, but I'd be unhappy. If I didn't support it directly, but it was there, I'd still likely make more money, but I'd be unhappy. That's not to say that I don't want to grow the audience and allow more people play the game, but I want to do it in a way with which I feel satisfied, even if that ends up being slower or just plain worse than a hypothetical third party alternative. If someone, as a potential donor, thinks that's unreasonably selfish, that person shouldn't send me any more money than he or she thinks I've deserved for his or her enjoyment, just like everybody else. Despite my dedication to this project, I'm unwilling to sacrifice my enjoyment of working on it for anything, including its quality or even its future release if it comes down to that. That should be plainly obvious. I'm not a slave. Of course I do some things I don't like working on, with the interface and more. I fulfill requests for features I'm not going to use myself. However, again, the current proposal is of a different order of magnitude, with the potential of ruining it for me, and the end result is completely uncertain.
Given what I've seen here and there, it seems like a full third party interface might develop even without my involvement (rather than the various utilities we have now), but in that case, despite the same issues that might come up, at least it won't be a situation of my own creation that I feel a strong obligation to deal with, although the pressure would still be there.
Incidentally, in the proposed model, I still don't think I'd be able to bring code back in to the core project -- the first Kobold Quest port attempt showed that people bringing in code don't necessarily check or care about the licenses of the code they are swiping, and I can't assume that responsibility for them (it has stuff from Wine which shouldn't have been there). Problems come up here with tilesets and so on too -- I know there've been a few cases where a contributor used somebody else's art and then it was put in a game, causing some legal trouble, though I don't have them at my immediate disposal.
I may have missed a lot, both problems I'm not thinking of and ways to handle them, since this gets complicated and is, due to lack of information, somewhat unspecified, but that's what I've got right now.