First of all, I understand that all you tried to achieve is a very great effort being that you are working on it solo.
I do not understand your “working with no profit intention”.
The community needs themes and plugins. Even the most minor things are necessary.
This does not mean we should have things for free since devs worked very hard on them.
For example, you can build something simple (like a theme using the same concept of widgetized areas as UpFront but way more simple) and offer a very basic version for free (code your own widgets for example). Then you can offer paid versions with special widgets already included.
It is true that WPMUDEV abandoned all its endeavors for these plugins and that some people think they are bloated and buggy (on that I can’t express a real opinion, I am not a true expert. I just know the PHP basics).
It is true that you can work on one at a time and slowly bring them into the CP ecosystem. What I advise is you do so by setting up a way to monetize (WPMUDEV had a subscription-based model if I recall). You can do as they did. They started small with a couple of plugins. Their plugins were freemium (basic features free and then you needed a subscription to use the full set of functionalities).
While you do this you can ask people what they need, add your own plugins to the suite of plugins by WPMUDEV and since you monetize you can totally hire other devs to cooperate with you on the plugins.
WPMUDEV’s choice was abandoning legacy to develop for GB. They did not have the power to maintain the elephant and work on GB-related plugins. You will only have to maintain their legacy plugins.
On the v2 note, maybe I can give my two cents also. I think “reforming WP” is the wrong term to describe the process. What our core team is really doing is comparing CP v1 with a WP 6 that has been TOTALLY STRIPPED of the blocks, FSE, docker if possible, and so on. What remains is a CP with some updates (like PHP 8.1 and other libraries). From this comparison, they will then remove all the features from WP6 that we don’t need. At some point in the comparison Matt said that WP6 moved files around, I think the aim is to preserve CP file structure so they are evaluating how to move back files where they have to be for CP. And also CP stuff has to be ported to this experimental v2. So it’s not a refork, it starts with the wp 6 code but they need to totally rework it to align it to CP v1.
That is why the code to be tested is not ready yet,
The core team is trying to apply our build process to that code removing docker as far as I understand. and they are also trying to move files where they need to be per CP structure. Then the part of removing unwanted features can start I think (GB and stuff were already removed by Alvaro but some of the features not related to them we might not need/want).
In the end, it’s a way to backport a very huge set of things we need from WP to CP. It’s the fastest way.
As you noted it’s not the easier way but we can’t afford to slowly implement things in v1 because people want up-to-date CMSs.
Feedback from devs like you however IMHO make the process smoother and faster. You pointed out that we have to make sure that v2 isn’t totally breaking, we need to ensure that the main plugins and themes work.
For that, we have to work with their devs.
Another thing you pointed out is jumping ship. I agree with that to an extent. But we need to make the process in steps. We release v2 that will include our plugin dir integrated into the core. This will be an incentive for devs to submit plugins and themes. This will allow the ecosystem to grow. People will start to rely on CP-specific themes and plugins more and more. At a certain point, we say that WP plugins and themes pages are deprecated and we remove them. Jumping ship in a project so big means giving people time to adjust to change. WP did just the opposite by including GB in core suddenly and here we are…
Last but not least, thanks for your hard work on supplying CP plugins and themes.