Knowing that whatever opinion I may have and that I'm going to be criticised for it, I enter this discussion with hesitation. I want to begin by acknowledging my deep respect for both the OP (for raising the matter) and to @mbabker for responding in a timely manner.
The last couple of releases of Joomla have had unfortunate consequences for owners of multi-language websites. I don't fall into that category and, therefore, I'm unqualified to comment on the adverse effects that have affected a sizeable number of members of the community.
As a general rule, I approach the process of software update/upgrade fairly cautiously. I have a few test sites where I trial the new software and I run a few simple tests. My testing is not exhaustive. Sometimes people discover new defects; sometimes the new update contains regression faults; sometimes the new software just plain falls in a heap. As the old saying goes: "If builders built houses the way that programmers build software, it would only take one woodpecker to come along destroy civilisation as we know it."
So, generally, I wait and observe the running commentary from ordinary folk who, when they discover a new software release, install it and share their experiences. I take it as a given that software changes generally only require a couple of people to agree that the code changes have caused no problems but, considering that people are human (and software developers are human, too), no-one is perfect.
There have been 72 releases of J! 3.x
(starting with J! 3.0.0 nearly seven years ago). You could probably count, on the fingers of one hand, the number of times when the production team had to quickly intercept and rectify a problematic release.
Examples include J! 3.1.0, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.2.6, 3.3.2, 3.8.9, 3.9.7 and 3.9.9 ... OK, so I need more than one hand
But that's not a bad result over the past seven years, is it? About one in 10. And these weren't unmitigated disasters; they were just the result of human error.
Now that I'm well into the seventh decade of my life, I don't have the same level of enthusiasm as I once had in my twenties for hurling myself into alpha testing. For that reason, I've steered clear of the armchair discussions about the design of J! 4. I'll leave that to the pointy-headed sideline commentators, who run onto the field of play whenever they feel like it, to argue and debate (and delay) the playbook for a project that will soon enter its third year
It's open source, for goodness sake, and the product is only as good as the collaborative teamwork put into it by the community. Instead of picking things apart (or agonising over whether something should be coloured a particular hue of blue or have elements occupying 3 pixels more or less space than something else), perhaps the armchair experts ought take a breather, clear the air rather than pollute it?
I freely confess that I'm as guilty as the next person who doesn't invest my time, heroically and thanklessly, on QA-ing each and every release of J! I'm also mindful that a sizeable cohort of the community is not interested in what would benefit the whole; every day I see people complain about some new "bug" or harass the community with "please fix my
problem now" . That's not why I joined this community and I know that's also not the reason that most people use this forum.
Enough written by me for the time being. Thanks if you've read this far. Cheers.