These are my thoughts, and my thoughts alone. They do not represent the opinions of other members of this project.
I am somewhat dismayed, at the changes happening in free software communities around this planet.
I've been a free software developer and user for many years, I started using free software in 1988, with the first install of GCC 1.4.2 on a second hand VAX to compensate for the fact that I could not at the time afford the DEC compiler tool chain that I needed. As the years have progressed, I have witnessed the birth of what are indeed thriving communities today, and it is amazing where we all have gotten, in a relatively short time span of almost 25 years since RMS's original emacs announcement.
But as these communities have amassed people, the ethos of them has changed. There is no longer a sense of "We built this."
It really hit home for me, when I saw people lynching the KDE people for their work on the Plasma UI, and KDE4, calling for everything short of it being burned because it was not complete, and that people simply did not like it. What makes me sick, is that the most vocal of these people who have been trashing the public reputation of these developers are people who didn't help them in the first place, yet they feel the need to use their right of free speech to trash it.
The sense of contribution and hard work has been replaced by a consumerist sense of entitlement, the "I discovered free software, and I am entitled to screaming at other people to do what I want until I have it." mentality that I see infecting free software projects, and quite frankly, it makes my heart sink.
In the beginning, all software was free, it was something the hardware needed to function, and thus, everybody got source code, and in the beginning, everyone who used the computers had a direct connection with the code they were using and were modifying it to fit their needs. They had to.
But it was this sense of getting down in the dirt, and learning, and making what they were working on better that brought the community together in the first place. This is all but gone now; replaced instead, by people who just want free things, of no cost to them, but to the developers instead who are still down in the dirt trying to make the software they are using, better.
If this is making you embarrassed, good. That's the point. Because chances are, you haven't been helping enough.
This is a free software project. The code you are using, has been prepared over many years, by many different people. Several companies have been involved in its creation, some of them still here, some not.
Their hard work is available to you, free of charge, and under a license that allows you to modify it and distribute it to others. It is therefore good manners to give back to those who have so graciously given their time, energy, and sometimes even their health to provide something that is available to all of you.
Make no mistake, this letter is a spanking. This letter is a big paddle whack on the butt of every one of you who have not contributed a line of code, who haven't contributed documentation, helped people on the forums, tested code, helped create needed art-work, or other aspects of this project that we so desperately need. If you haven't contributed any of these things, you should feel embarrassed.
Why haven't more of you attempted to write code? or write documentation? or given art-work? I know each and every single one of you has a talent that can be of use to this project, and we desperately need it. We tend to listen to people who pull their weight around here.
Earn your voice, either:
* Write Documentation
* Perform creative services (audio, video, etc.)
* test software
* answer in the forums, or IRC channel
* OR SHUT UP!