Indeed, Michael Johnson's participation sounds promising. In the old forums, MM didn't notice or react to feature requests at all, so it's encouraging that such a dedicated forum exists and that Michael is active there on a regular basis. No one knows whether or which requested features will make their way into Finale, but MM showing interest in the users's needs is a positively new basis of communication.
I'm still somehow discouraged when it comes to plug-in development. No news of Jari concerning JWLua, MM doesn't give the PDK away any more, the plug-in development forum closed with all the other old MM forums and there is hardly any activity on the mailing list. I consider plug-ins to be in close relationship to feature requests, because many small feature requests could easily be solved by a script or a plug-in and wouldn't need a whole new feature in Finale's core code.
Recommendations concerning notation and publishing software in a non-partisan environment.