It's quite obvious that the state of Joomla! is not one of stability, as evidenced by recent threads on the Joomla! Bug Squad. Threads such as Help in admin menu, Thanks but no thanks, and The purpose and tone of the bug squad list all demonstrate that there is a severe rift between the leadership and the community, and within members of the community as well.
Simply put, now is not the time for the Joomla! community, especially the volunteers of the Joomla! Bug Squad, to fall apart. A common theme seems to be the root of the problem; the leadership. Aside from a few members that I have personally communicated with and get the feeling from them that they are open to change and discussion, the leadership of the project does not seem to truly appreciate the work contributed by the volunteers. In my three months working with the Joomla! Bug Squad, I've witnessed first hand the things written about in various blogs and e-mails on the Google threads. I've seen the negative attitudes of various individuals making the group a non-friendly work environment. I've seen the leadership reject community ideas for the core code, saying that these ideas can easily be implemented via overrides and extensions. Now, I'm watching members of the community who I've come to respect walk away because of these hostilities.
The Joomla! Project CAN NOT go on in this state. Chasing away the volunteers will not do anything productive. Putting your own ego before the collective Joomla! ego will not do anything productive. Not having an open mind will not do anything productive. And being overly offended by the use of a certain term by a non-English speaker certainly will not do anything productive. Change needs to happen.
For months, the community has been seeking guidance concerning getting 1.6 (conveniently code-named "Hope") released as Stable, and constantly the community has been told to look at the 1.6 Issue Tracker. That answers no questions with any sort of clarity. It's easy to close High and Medium High priority issues with the right testing and coding. Does that mean the product is indeed ready for stable release? Not just no, but hell no! Guidance needs to be set forth concerning the "right" path to getting 1.6 released. What needs to be tested and pushed to the limits? What code needs to be reviewed for changes that may have been overlooked from 1.5? Where are the system and unit tests lacking? Is there anything generated that does not meet standards compliance (XML, XHTML, CSS, etc.)? Has a security audit of 1.6 been performed, and if so, any issues that need to be resolved from that?
As I said previously, there are well respected members of the Joomla! community being pushed away from a team they enjoy working with. Is the Bug Squad, if not Joomla! as a whole, a ship destined to sink because of poor leadership and bad attitudes dominating the project? I can't answer that for sure, but I can say this - If these types of e-mails had been circulating 3 months ago when I first thought of joining the Bug Squad, I sure as hell would not have joined. And, now, I can only question whether or not I want to continue working with said team because of said environment.
Edit: Now that the frustrations have been vented, it's time to move on to something positive and fix our frustrations. See Shock and Awe Aftermath.