In response to why the devbase isn't growing..
a. Actually, It is. Elementary has given real
momentum to the community that we're getting really awesome apps from devs. I haven't seen such aura the past.
b. Divergent views. Bird's of different feathers don't flock together.
Consider this: A third of my screen is unusable while using google plus.
Thanks to the super-modular-awesomeness of eOS I removed the wingpanel and started using Do. I also tried removing Google plus's UI elements but that didn't go well.
IMO, I think panels should be at the bottom, therefore I customized.
But, How do I feel to contribute to a project when I don't share your views? Rather timid. :S
Btw, what appears to be the new HIG addresses the screen real-estate issue. Thanks for that :)
/cc +Chris Timberlake