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Why the extra ce? Does it change the meaning?

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A When one is talking about "progrès en général" only the first sentence is used but slightly modified ; "bon" means "positive", that "progrès" is something of value.

Le progrès, c'est bon.

A variant of that sentence can also be used.

C'est bon, le progrès.

In this particular case the word « ce » is not the demonstrative pronoun but a word called a particle ("particule " in French); in the TLFi the function of this particle is defined as having an "anaphoric value of anticipation so as to announce a subject that has been posponed until the end" ((TLFi) Valeur anaphorique d'anticipation, pour annoncer un sujet rejeté en fin de phrase).

  • L'homme n'a pas toujours aimé le progrès ; mais au cours des âges il ne l'a pas dédaigné ; c'est bon, le progrès.

The second sentence, if modified or properly introduced, becomes usable in this context.

  • Le progrès est bon (pour l'homme), mais il a un prix.

  • Il se sont plaint, n'ont vu que les conséquences immédiates et n'ont pas compris que la technologie pouvait être de leur côté, pourvu qu'ils le veuillent ; il ne voyaient que par le monstre Progrès ; le Progrès est bon !

The word "ce" adds nothing to the meaning but makes for an assertion that will seem more pungent (my personnal opinion).

B When the word is used as signifying "improvement in a particular domain" the second sentence could be used but it doesn't sound idiomatic et on emploie préférablement d'autres adjectifs plus idiomatiques ;

  • satisfaisant, assez grand, normal,

Le progrès est satisfaisant.

The signification of "bon" is then not the same as in "A"; the meaning is now "appreciably important", "sufficient in quantity".

  • Jean s'est mieux comporté ce trimestre-ci ; il est beaucoup moins dissipé et ses notes sont meilleures ; il a fait un bon progrès.

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