Perhaps if Stephan had
a few interns to direct he would be able to accommodate the churn that's
created by clean-up, refactoring, and moving to JUnit X++
No need for interns for that as there are community members already doing that. However, their effort wasn't really welcome in that case. The conflict is about how those changes are perceived as irrelevant and harmful by some people, when they are an important sign of vitality for some others.
We should not presume that he is a bottomless pit of resource
to accommodate our every wish and demand, however strong the technical
arguments are to back those demands. Please keep in mind that without
human beings, technology is irrelevant, and that there is a big
difference between what's right, what's ideal, what's practical, and
what's possible for a single person to accomplish in their waking hours.
I think we're on phase here, as we all know no-one or no organization/individual is a bottomless pit of resources.
However, we do have a bottomless pit of resources available at hand (million of individuals) in the user base. And what we need if we want more resources is to make the projects more welcoming for new contributors, and increase the ratio of users that we manage to turn into contributors. As part of the things that make the project welcoming (there are many), the code clean-ness and modernity is an important criteria.
So IMO, when someone does clean up the code, they are trying to siphon this bottomless pit to get the workload more distributed to more people, relax the current few "pillars" so they can focus on more difficult work that requires their deep expertise. Code clean-ups are actually efforts to solve the resource issue by growing the community. This is a very noble goal, and an OSS project that doesn't consider this goal as vital is doom to failure.
Of course, such refactoring can cause glitches, and may need to be reverted and more polished in some cases to keep good code quality, that's totally fine to do so. As long as the project remains open to such changes (when they're not too bad).
all of whom benefit from Stephan's brilliance, could in principle
squeeze open their sticky wallets to contribute something more than
I think all the people who have participated in this discussion are either paid by such an organization or are individual contributors investing their personal time. Both are a proof of pragmatic support from orgs or from themselves more than idealistic dogma.