Byond has been around for many years, and I consider it a great engine. And in order to hold it's place, I feel that you, Dantom, need to figure out ways to speed up this little buggy. The amount of work that's been put into it is astounding. However, I wish that you guys would speed up this little fella'. Sure, it's a great creation environment, and does plenty of work for you. However, it is held back by the speed it can run at.
Have you guys actually tested out a version of Byond where you pushed your engine to crashing limits, by decreasing it's limits in code? Or allowed other people to try this out? I'm wondering if Byond could actually be pushed a little harder at times. To branch over to another topic, it was talked about for a while that it would be convenient for Byond to be branched out, and allow for more customization. Forcing US, the DREAM MAKERS to put in more effort could actually come out with a greater result, splitting off a version of Byond that is tougher to use may be very worthwhile.
One last subject I'd like to give a hoot about is Sound. Sound, Sound, Sound...why is it often not utilized to its' full potential? It adds on an extra bog-down, you could say, to the game's server. Why should it affect the way everything is processed so much? When is the last time that the way Byond's sound handling was meddled with? Since before the 'Blue Book'? Or do you guys often do internal updates without saying?
In the end, I feel that you guys should be working on maintaining your code before adding new features. Isn't there some old saying that software development is mostly maintenance, after the first fairly stable product is released? I feel that this should be done with Byond.
PS: Maybe, you guys should choose to be, going to throw out a term here, semi-open-source? In the form that you would release small bits and pieces code wise of some of your elements that you feel community members could assist you in, and the rest would be Python-style code. I'm not asking you to give out your sound system. However, if you were to talk about the Libraries it is used with, along with a couple-paragraph explanation on how it works, with what style variables, pointers, etc. are used, it may be of some help.