Update: I'm now involved in the Infamous project, where a bunch of us are working together to get right what Famous got wrong. We hope to have something out by the end of the year. Get involved, give your input or just see what we're up to at http://forums.infamous.io/t/infamous-intro-news/80.
Apologies for the silent treatment; I've been away on holiday. As you may have inferred from my last update, I left for my holiday quite frustrated and disappointed... but decided to stave off any big decisions until after my return where I could assess the latest developments.
Sadly, I can only report that things have only gone from bad to worse. The new Famous release was a small shell of the old version, but did introduce some very welcome architectural changes and features. Despite a very immature code base, it was well worth giving it proper chance.
Unfortunately, all we got was a repeat of last year with the previous version. Slow progress and eventual radio silence. A buggy and incomplete product. Many top devs have left the company. No one knows what's going on. And it's even more regrettable that I need to be the one to relay this news, gathered from impressions, scraps from the Slack channel and discussions with other community developers.
I do want to be absolutely clear though, that I remain completely convinced that the Famous "solution" (an all-JS gaming-inspired rendering + physics engine) is the right one and the best way to move forward for all of us. I simply no longer have faith in Famous Industries' ability to pull it off.
I backed Famous both for the technology and for the company behind it; with $30m in funding and the expectation that large teams of engineers would be working full time to make it better and better. Unfortunately, that's not the case, and worse, having been given an opportunity to correct their shortcomings, Famous have shown nothing but contempt for their users, and no proof of ability to manage a big project.
All this has led me to the very difficult decision to abandon Famous. I no longer feel confident to use it in my own apps, and have no intention to promote to others what I would not use myself.
Regarding alternatives, it's a tough one... most fall short compared to the Famous vision. I think it's known that I'm not in the React Native camp, but this may be the best (or at least most mature) solution without Famous around. Ionic is certainly another popular option too.
Note also that there is a community fork led by @trusktr and some of the other major community developers. I was tempted to get involved but I felt it was too problematic to fork off the current broken code. I will nevertheless be keeping an eye on this as I have great respect for trusktr and the others involved on the project... I have had personal contact with many of them and they are all very talented individuals (but of course, not employed full time towards this goal).
I'm also looking into creating a minimalist implementation of Famous for my own use as an experiment, and will report back if it leads anywhere.
Lastly, I would like to give a massive thank you to all our users, for your support and your patience. It pains me to announce the end of the project, which had so much potential, but unfortunately there's not much else to be done in a situation like this.
Feel free to respond with your thoughts, alternative plans, etc. I think such a discussion would be very beneficial for many.