I have to second Jeffrey's statements. 

I'm a newbie, having only been on -dev for about 18 months.
I don't know who Nick Slager is, and I don't know what happened with
Trent. It's clear that in the past netrek development has been
heavily freighted with politics. For a new contributer coming in,
I don't think that's currently true. 

While I've been here, I've not seen wars about patch acceptance.
In this thread, we've seen James explicitly solicit server patches. 

There has been heated argument over certain client features, 
but they always been worked through; p2k and XP 2006 both get
released when their authors provide them. 

> door policy, where over time I can come back out of the wood work and
> give my latest updates. The "put up or shutup" approach does not
> historically represent how netrek developed, and I don't think it useful
> today. 

I think in this case, "put up or shut up" means "do something useful
and we'll listen to you". Submitting updates is probably useful, 
assuming they are any good. 

Useful is writing new programs, documentation, helping with web stuff, 
doing marketing. Useful is not someone who does not understand 
any of the issues involved in any of these activities telling us 
how to do them. 

If you want to contribute, there are a lot of things we'd love to
have someone do...

And if you tell me I'm wrong about any of the above, I'll listen
and consider what you have to say.