I should add that a fair amount of hostility you do see towards users is a DIRECT result of so many people lacking basic respect over the years in their dealings with the developers providing this software.
The latest incident with Mamesick just further shows that, we highlight what developers of builds need to do, John IV quietly does what is needed to clear as much of the UI code as possible, Mamesick on the other hand starts hurling abuse at us.
People continuing to remove warning messages THAT ARE IMPORTANT, against the express wishes of the team, is another example. People doing such things have caused us no end of trouble, wasting countless hours of our time over the years, but we're just meant to smile and accept that? (and no, I don't want to read about how annoying it is in a cab, the need for them being there outweighs that 10 fold, only a tiny, tiny minority use MAME in a cab, the rest are too lazy to make 2 key presses, or just plain rude)
Even now there are people demanding builds readd the removed drivers, or ignore the requirements of the relicensing work after we've spent near enough a year sorting out as much of it as we can to ensure what we deliver is 100% legal and can be used without worry in many more situations than ever before.
There are other hacks we don't really approve of, for a while there were people doing absurd and dangerous stuff like hacking all drivers in MAME to use a 60hz refresh rate and silently slipping that kind of thing in their builds, things like that upset the game timing so badly it's not even funny. We requested that not be done, were met with hostility. Strangely we know a lot better how dangerous such things are, yet in that situation apparently our opinion, as authors of the code, didn't matter and wasn't valid.
These are very basic cases of respect.
Even with the relicensing thing I'm already seeing threads where people are now discussing how they can make money out of selling bare 'MAME machines' without us being able to close them down now, again, it's pathetic, it really is.
So why is it really surprising that we prefer to cater to the audience that actually helps progress the project instead.
Now, I'm going to disgree with Vas to a point here, because I do think we need some users, because in the end they're out testers (no matter how good our automated testing, real world testing is the only way to catch some bugs) what we don't need are the users that are actively hostile, for example, the ones who find bugs then just start saying MAME is shit, the ones creating disruptive patches, the ones shitposting all over the place. What we can't do is let knee-jerk reactions from users dictate the direction of the project, it would be a sad project if we did (because summing up the majority opinion, we may as well only ever bother emulating the classics and let everything else die) Over the years we've seen so many people say they're 'never updating again because of x' yet, eventually they do because something catches their eye, or they realise the ancient version they were using doesn't even run properly on a modern OS.
Also, keep in mind that I say this as somebody who has had their own share of arguments with the devs, so no, I'm not even going to say they're always right (personally I found a lot of Aarons decision making and policies to be highly questionable) but there are plenty of cases where they clearly ARE, and if anything MAME has been more receptive than ever over the past year or two (but again, whatever gets done isn't good enough for one group or another) MAME has been growing, flourishing, yet if you listen to certain audiences we're doing everything wrong, and half of what we do needs hacking straight back out.