@musicmatze I would think that whoever wrote tectonic  has a decent understanding of how it all works. And I would be surprised if Donald Knuth didn't understand it.
But I would agree that TeX isn't a shining example of how to make something easy to use.
@leroycepearson I guess best would be to just rewrite the whole ecosystem in one big project/binary and make it all self-contained.
But yeah, tectonic seems to be a good improvement.