@scawen: thank you very much for that update on the state of lfs!
this is exactly what we were hoping for - some news, something to talk about, something to reflect!
about lfs and community (mod) support: lfs does not have to become "open source" in any way to support mods - there just have to be either shared tools like an editor for cars and tracks (like the one eric got?) or an api that accepts some sort of 3d models and ties them to the lfs kernel and physics.
i do not know how the lfs physics and the visual part of the game are connected and if the new physics are tied to the specific car models or if they are a framework to which new 3d models easly could be linked, but opening the way for content development by the community would surely give lfs one big rush.
to get around quality problems there can be more than one way. one is to allow any mod on a private server so anyone is free to play whatever he wants, but severely restrict the number of mods that make it into the public gaming so noone has to bother with additional downloads.
we have been happy with a small amount of tracks and cars for years so we do not need thousands of mods, only some, but really good ones. there are many talented guys out there - one prime example would be the "power and glory" mod for gtr2.
to further narrow the list of mod entries we could make the evaluation process part of this forum where everyone can show their efforts and we as a community decide which ones are good should make it into the game.
to see if this makes sense and would work we just need the ok from the devs that mods eventually can become real and then make a contest here.
say we make this a contest till xmas and then see how many will enter a track or a car - this will show the talent and how much of it is out there!
and if we were all nice, maybe santa will allow the winners of this competition into the real game?