This is a primary reason why we're developing a video editor. Access to the source-code is a big part of what has allowed free-software to accomplish the unthinkable - software that is written more quickly, for less money, that at the same time is higher-quality than its proprietary counterparts. On the surface, it seems the math is wrong somewhere there. But it's not, this weird math is working everyday in the free-software industry.
There are two big reasons why this works.
First, it's an education thing. If you want to learn how complex, industry-leading free-software is written, you can look at its source-code and see exactly how it's designed. No secrets. Importantly, you can also follow the exact process through which the software evolves and improves day-to-day. The free-software community has such a high concentration of great developers because it's the easiest place to learn to be a great developer.
Second, it's all about brutal peer-review. If you talk to free software developers, they'll all say that knowing the world will see their source-code keeps them on their toes, makes them write better software. No one wears their professional hearts on their sleeves the way free-software developers do. But this unforgiving peer-review has raised the bar very high, and has fueled a staggering rate of innovation.
The Novacut team wants to make sure the "source-code" for professional video production is as useful as it is for free-software. And the cool thing about video source-code is that not only will it allow you to learn about and further the state-of-the-art in video editing, it will provide a window into the entire video production process. For example, when looking at finished HDSLR videos, I'm always curious what the virgin clips coming from the camera look like before color-grading. After all, it's hard to learn how to get the right video from your camera if you can't compare apples-to-apples. But with the source-code for a video, our editor will show you all the details for making sense of the process - how the raw clips look, the exact color adjustment values used, and how the clips look with these adjustments applied. The Novacut video editor will help directors-of-photography up-their-game even if they never do a lick of editing themselves!
P.S.: It's freakin' awesome that Nina Pasley is screening "Sita Sings the Blues" in person at DebConf! Rock on, Nina.