There are a few reasonable definitions of Open Source, and "the SysEx protocol is open now that a user helped reverse engineer it" is not one of them. Collecting Kickstarter money for an "Open Source" project and then creating a closed product is really dishonest. I was ready to buy one and recommend it to my friends because it looks like a great piece of hardware. But now, I'm not so sure.
To jrussell and the others: The work you're doing on the editor is great, and very important I think. As a Linux-only audio user, a working editor with proper GUI is really a requirement to be able to use the thing!
As for the shared vs exclusive access: I would choose option 2, shared access for setting parameters. If reconnecting in shared mode is a problem (like you said, device ID might change etc.) then maybe you can have the user reconnect the device manually after flashing. That's no problem because you don't upgrade firmware all the time anyway. But changing parameters should work in a way that doesn't interrupt the workflow, hence shared.
I tried the editor and it does start on my Ubuntu 13.04 box. One cosmetic thing: The word "Sensitivity" below the "Global Sensitivity" knob is partially clipped. Other than that the UI looks fine. As I don't have the hardware yet, I couldn't test any more than that. I think I will wait until at least an officially supported version of the editor, including source, is available.
To demcanulty: what do you think about making the firmware source code available? Others in this thread have made good points to convince management about the benefits of an open source community working with (and for) you.
It's great that you're convincing people to open up the editor, that's already more than you can say about the KORG Nano line for example... Being able to create alternate firmwares would be even more useful. Please, keep nagging your management to make this a product that can be really called Open Source, in some accepted sense of the word. You probably don't want to open up the schematics, but as others explained, you don't really have anything to lose and much to gain by opening up the firmware. (BTW: You talked about an expensive compiler; what processor does the quneo use?)