And no! Slinging poo-code or "suggestions" over the fence without any commitment to maintain it does not count as do-ing.
This counts for any project. There is a slightly different approach to public messaging though. Some places crack people are ignored because of lack/disinterest and other places they choose flattering as a mean of shutting crack pots. Mint tells "every user is important" and still they do their own thing or is hired by donations. Sure they will ship alot of half assed software to please they crowd but they cant possibly maintain it. Today more people care about image and PR than code.
Essential gnome is a give-away of free code developed by high quality standards which are matched by no one out there. It is backed by strong companies and have a clear goal and a vision. Everybody in free software should be happy about having such choice. But NOOOO people bitch because image and PR. It is sad to see otherwise bright people turn into a bunch of angry teenager who wants their products to be well imaged as Apples. And this is where yellow journalism prey. A teenagers mad club for echoing hate over lack of PR.
BTW You have no clue about gnome. @gnome suggestions should go into a bug report. Mark it as enhancement and apply your patchs. If your reasoning and code is sane you willl build up steam in no time. Otherwise you could try without the patches. I did a quick rundown at the most advertised enhancement imporoments for the shell and found at least ten suggestions from non-devs posted without paches which are pushed as high priority/high publicity right now.
So essential you have no clue about dealing with gnome development and the numbers are against you. Yellow journalists will of course keep you believing otherwise because any lack of drama means lack of *clicks*. And gnome? They might need to hire "community" workers doing nothing for the software but blogging crap posts to avois yellow journalism. It is really sad to see free software needing nannies to keep the cry babies silent. This includes YOU!