I looked around but couldn’t find any discussion of this topic elsewhere.
I see that BlenderKit got committed (with Ton’s approval) to 2.80 as a community add-on today. It’s a cool thing, but the fact that they’re based on talking the user into signing up for a $5-$10/month subscription service for full access to what their add-on provides makes me think maybe we need a new category of add-on called “Commercial” to go with the current three (Official, Community, and Testing (and btw, does inclusion in a “Testing” category really offer useful information to the end user or could we just eliminate this one?)
Having a specific category or tag for such add-ons could help clarify the line of where official Blender Foundation approved stuff ends and commercial offerings begin. This might help prevent user confusion when they enable an add-on that comes with Blender and it takes them to a web site that wants money from them and they’re not sure if this is “Blender” that’s asking them for money, etc.
There could be some kind of disclaimer when you go to enable a commercial add-on that tells you that it’s not a service provided by the BF etc.
I agree, this is going to cause some confusion for new users if they can’t trust that everything bundled with blender is free and open source. I’m not suggesting that BK be removed, but I do agree that it need to be made clear to users that this is a paid service and categorize it as such so it can be filtered out for users who are not interested in paid services.
Does the addon in Blender actually prompt the user for a subscription or is it only on an external site? If committed addons started prompting the user for payment to Blender Foundation or otherwise for “full features”, that would significantly change the image of Blender to users.
What an interesting addon. Looks like another asset manager to me… I already get assets from other places or I make my own, there are plenty of textures on poligion, furniture on chocofur or Blender market, etc. etc. I must admit I did not see anything on there website that blew me away or inspired me to part with $5 a month… See how they go I suppose.
I agree, I think we need a separate category for these kind of addons.
In short: the addons are being reviewed with the same quality guidelines as the other addons we have. The addons should be disabled, contain no ads and be useful for users. Next to that the submitter pays 290 USD p/m to the development fund. To my knowledge we now have only two (the first was Sketchfab).
Having a category for these services is a good idea though, it should be clear that this is an external addon to external commercial services.