Let me add a different perspective. I know, the devs don't owe anything to anyone. They do the work for free, in their spare time, just for the satisfaction of being part of a large successful project that benefits others. I for one really appreciate the work being done. I'm also probably a target of the so called spanking. Not that I haven't contributed anything, I've tried to help others even when my experiences are counter to devs (ie. the recommendation vs. the requirement for having two nic cards). I also posted a howto and the related config for making a streamzap remote (or any remote) work with usbuirt which someone else very kindly edited and put on the wiki (which after I rebuilt my core/md hybrid I had to reference, thanks!!!!). Still, I recognize it isn't much and in the views of devs I'm sure I haven't "earned" a right to voice opinions.
Like it or not, lmce can be a bear for a new user. Frustrations are going to happen, and sometimes those frustrations are going to turn into "LinuxMCE sucks" type posts. Sure, LMCE does have a lot of issues still, but I think it's fantastic. The users may not pay money for a FOSS app, but that's not to say it's completely free either. I've spent probably $750 for LMCE in hardware. Hardware that I wouldn't (and didn't) need had I stayed with MythTV. The old hardware SHOULD have worked just fine with LMCE according to the wiki, but as many have found the wiki isn't always right. Time is also worth something. The devs spend far more time than users for sure, and that time has a value to it for devs AND users. The public web pages and videos create an expectation that end users base hardware purchases and time investments on.
The devs may not think the average user who hasn't contributed doesn't have the right to voice their opinion or request features/bug fixes. I disagree. Not because users are so valuable they automatically get that right, but because the lmce project has given them that right. The creation of the LMCE users forum, separate from the devs forum, specifically for users to talk about their experience and help each other out. What more of an open invitation is there?
I will agree that bashing a FOSS project, ANY FOSS project, because it isn't polished or is lacking features is uncalled for. Pointing out shortcomings or requesting features is different though. If some part of a FOSS project is crap, but the dev who wrote it thinks it's great, how can it ever improve without user critique? Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I believe input for the user community is vital. Nicely, not demanding.
IMHO, telling people that are using, or trying to use, LMCE but have not yet contributed directly to "SHUT UP!" is just as bad as a user that bashes LMCE. Posting problems, feature request wishlists, detailing horror stories about an install, listing reasons why you are going back to some other software, etc. != bashing. Bashing is uncalled for, the rest seems pretty appropriate for a users forum to me. Perhaps I missed the point of Thom's post and he is only referring to the trash talkers? In that case I agree. If the point is either join the team or you're not allowed to comment on LMCE then I think Thom is being unreasonable. You don't release something to the public, create a public users forum to talk about it, then tell the public to STFU when they discuss problems they experience with it. You certainly don't tell people that are trying to use your app that they should be embarrassed for not contributing to it. Think about all the FOSS apps we Linux users use on a daily basis. Should I feel bad that I haven't contributed to kernel development, KDE dev work, kontact, firefox, handbrake, k9copy, HP printer drivers, xorg, and pidgin?
Maybe that's how I can contribute? I'll tell the whiners to STFU, and the devs that get fed up with whining to go easy on the frustrated newbies.