Fred, I'm completly understand your feelings.
Your post touched me so deeply, so I decide to write you several words (despite the fact that I didn't write to mailing list several years). Maybe it helps you... Maybe it helps others...
I stepped back as ProjectCenter maintainer. Stopped fixing bugs and making because... it feels like endless and pointless work to me at some point. My dream that drive me all these years was to have an OPENSTEP desktop enviroment pixel to pixel and feeling to feeling.
Several last years project aims drifting to current trends in modern desktop concepts. And It's OK until my dream may come true some day.
And I asked myself some questions:
1. Do I want to go out of project? - No, I don't.
2. What can I do to motivate myself? - I have to work on bringing my dream to life.
3. Does my goals contarry to GNUstep project goals? - Maybe at some point.
4. What can I do to sort out these contraditions? Discuss it with community? - Discussing is pointless. I need to write code (create OPENSTEP desktop environment) and show it to GNUstep community when it will be usable enough. Maybe it will become new driver/motivator for some persons/community/project itself. Who knows...
5. How much time it will take? 5 years? 10 years? - I don't care. ;-)
So I decided to go offline and start working on point 4. And I do it for last 2 years.
Let's analyze how Qt and GTK+ evolves during the same period of time as GNUstep exists: Qt and GTK+ community have applications! That what toolkits and developer tools are existing for! That is what motivate developers to improve and fix applications which make their life easier and funnier.
Get well. Fred (in all senses)!