Sorry for the delay; crazy week.
I get the point you are making. The majority of help is
needed in the testing/unstable projects. I guess the point that I was making was that there are still plenty of opportunities to help in stable. I run Debian servers for both personal and professional reasons and thus the overwhelming majority of contributions I have made to Debian (in forms of bug reports, patches, and documentation) has been in the stable release or during the testing freeze pre-release.
Before Wheezy/Jessie, 9 times out of 10 I would never even consider running testing for any purpose until it hit the big freeze pre-release. And then, I fire it up in my dev environment to beat the tar out of it with my workload to see if anything major breaks. Surprisingly, I usually don't find any thing that isn't already reported, but I like to have an idea of what the next release has in store. I rarely even update till the second point release anyway. What can I say but that I love the stability of Debian stable? It is pure awesome.
The Wheezy release threw me for a hard loop. I didn't have time to properly run a lot of tests during the freeze, and when I got to a project that really required me to jump to Wheezy I found a lot of things that caused me some grief. I have found the replacements either acceptable or, in most cases*, better; but there was a bit of learning curve/retraining. It is also part of the reason why, until very
recently, I have had a server still sitting on Lenny. I had to get things running smoothly on Wheezy in the new environment.
So again, I understand the point you are making. The point that I am making is that there are still plenty of opportunities in stable for people to help out on. Heck, the ability to just know when a package is going to disappear from upstream because of a lack of a maintainer would have caught my attention on one toolset. Or to have something that I can use to track programs that I care about would be huge for me.
I am not and probably will not ever be one of the Debian greats. I just don't have the programming mind/skill sets to hang with the amazing devs that keep Debian going. However, my job is a sysadmin. I code a lot. I frequently stumble across bugs that require me to patch in production and then later on my own time I will form a bug report, dump my fix to it, and ship it upstream. I have my name (legal name; not g+ name) attached to dozens of projects BUT the largest patch I think I have ever submitted that has been accepted is like ~15 lines of code. I would love to have an easy way for me to follow the projects I care about. It helps me out personally and professionally, and if there is something that comes across as a 'hey! I can fix that!' then I hope then I can contribute back to the Debian community. But again, I run stable on nearly everything. It wasn't till this transition to Wheezy that I decided I should probably keep a better tab on Jessie.
Didn't mean this to be so long, just trying to ensure I explain my viewpoint well. :-)
* A small side track, my professional tools all got improved. Not so with some of my personal toolsets. I am still pissed off about k9copy going away. I realize that the project died in 2011, but I somehow missed it disappearing until Wheezy. I am not saying that it should have stayed; I understand why it went away and I agree with that decision. It just messed with me because I tend not to follow packages up stream but only in Debian so the news was old but new to me. :-) I have not had the time to invest in finding a good alternative. All I want is to take a legally purchased DVD that sits on my shelf, remove the stupid trailers and BS warnings but keep all the extras in a nice fair-use not-shared-out-side-of-my-household ISO stored on my OpenMediaVault-backend/Debian+XBMC-frontend TV so that I don't have to get up from my couch to put the DVD in the drive. Seems the rest of the world wants to just rip to mkv with handbrake... shrug
oh well. :-/