the software is released out there to be consumed by [innocent] people. So in both cases, there is some responsibility on what the user would expect out of a given application and in the case of Gnome, there are a few millions of users that developers should take into account. If these developers really don’t want user feedback, they should close down their bugzilla, stop offering their software freely (only use it for their own needs), stop sending press releases out and stop asking for donations on their front page. It’s as simple as that.
In other words, the fact that you give your work away for free isn’t good enough, if people actually like your work you have to change it to suit them.
I’m not one of those jackasses who’s going to say “if you want a feature, code it yourself”. Not all users can or want to be hackers, especially as more and more Free/Open Source software hits the mainstream. But there’s a simple solution: find a hacker (programmer), and pay her/him to implement the features you want. You get the feature you wanted, the hacker gets some extra cash, and the whole community gets the new feature for free. Everybody wins.
I don’t understand why the concept of bounties for features never caught on in the Open Source world. If anybody wants some feature implemented in a FOSS application, and they don’t mind spending a little money to get it, they’re welcome to contact me.