I just wanted to do some general handwaving about how important a milestone the 1.0 release is.
Its been said that time in the computer industry is measured in dog years, everything moves very fast. During the course of the history of luxrender so much has happened that sometimes to me it seems like the project is 20 years old, there has been drama and change as there would be with any community and like most human experience looking back on it seems to expose a larger pattern in which it all makes sense and there were no mistakes. I do think at some point this history should be documented because it is my view that luxrender has a actual place in the history of both art and technology.
Getting luxrender 1.0 out is something that might never have happened, FOSS is a interest based culture and there is no way to compel developers to follow a given vision. This is very different from the commercial industry, much of the work I have done as a programmer has been about in essence realizing the vision of some billionaire.
FOSS gives us a break from the neo-fedualism of corporate culture. We are brought together by interest and we self organize based on our individual biases, I think this will always be a greater source of innovation than the coercion of economic motivation even though by a strange paradox they fuel each other, without being able to make money none of us would have the time to work on FOSS.
But the main point I want to make is that for me luxrender is a fine-art tool because of its fundamental honesty. With open source there are no secrets, it is the ultimate form of peer review but also luxrender is a physical simulator without reserve. Luxrender simulates the flow of light far past the point required to fool the eye, there is no cheating or shortcuts and luxrender takes a lot of hits for this but for me that thread of integrity that flows through the entire project both in the source and the human interest in the beauty of physics makes it something that transcends a simple tool and makes it a platform for fine-art.
When we use metrics like speed or specific features in my opinion we miss the most important aspect required for art which is spiritual honesty.
It would take a long time to really document all the ups and downs that have gotten lux to the point of a 1.0 release but I think its time to stop and celebrate that we have gotten this far because its been a long journey.