I want to salute the programmers who have worked on open source projects. Looking at the accomplishments of the open source community I am amazed. I have been working on an open source project for JavaRanch and I have discovered how hard it is to be dedicated to an open source project. First, there are so many other things you can do with your spare time that it is very easy to develop a "I'll do it tomorrow" attitude. Second, because people come and go, it is very easy to lose your focus as the development team changes around you. There is also a feeling of pessimism that can set in as you see a lot of people express interest and then never provide a line of code. Finally, there is a general sense that it's not a big deal because if you don't do it then maybe someone else will.
I can understand why so many open source projects die on the vine. The fact that we have so many successful open source projects testifies to the dedication of those programmers who have participated in them.