Eclipse is you, and you are all different
Eclipse is who? It's you, says Bjorn and Doug points out that this dovetails nicely with the Time Magazine Person of the Year. This sort of image resonates with the ideal of open source, but in practice runs into some complications, as Ian has discussed. Yet I'm not sure that I'd say, following Ian, that some are more important than others in the Eclipse ecosystem. Sure, committers can make decisions that others, say users, can not. But users can vote with their feet, and being a committer on a project without users is no fun. Rather, there are different roles, responsibilities and powers for different members of the community. While committers, project leads, the EMO, and so on tend to get a lot of the visibility, the plain fact is that Eclipse would be nowhere today without the other members of the ecosystem. And the impact of change on ecosystems is famously difficult to predict: large, unpredicted consequences can appears from seemingly small events.
Anyhow, I do take the original point, and I can understand the frustration that Ian expresses. This sort of thing has been bothering me for a while. So here it is: I think we on the committer side of projects at Eclipse make it much harder than necessary for others to participate. I have some ideas to help with this, but I'll wait to see if others agree that there is a problem in the first place, before taking blogspace with proposals.