I think there are several reasons for the statement "nothing is interesting in this project":
1) Client computing has been moving to the web.
this is as the snake oil marketing BS as that one of several years ago coming from google, that PCs will disappear and everybody will do their computer work on tablets. yeah, right. won't happen.
2) Linux has a lot of developers because it is very popular in servers and embedded systems, and even Android sits on top of the Linux kernel.
servers... magical word, almost like boobies.
there are different servers, you know. cheapo web servers maybe are occupied by linux, but there is a lot of other servers and linux is not the only one used. windows, hpux, aix, solaris - they all have their niche, and I'd say, their niche is more prestigious than of linux. because for those OS, people pay crazy money to use, whereas linux is always is a mediocre freebie. CentOS is named that way not by coincidence. that name encodes the whole secret of the linux popularity on servers. it's not because of the GNU/Stallman's GNU/religion. it's because of availability for free. in expense of quality, but who cares, right?
but what this has to do with the "nothing is interesting in this project" reasoning? okay, linux is megapopular among web hosting. so what? how that could impact attractiveness of ReactOS or a similar project? in no way it could. because the former is totally irrelevant to the latter. first, - it's not interfering at all. so let linux be popular on those spherical servers in vacuum. but also the linux versus ReactOS/Haiku or any community project comparison by the criterion of popularity on some servers is wrong because linux is NOT an enthusiastic community project. now, it's an offloading project for corporations and they are main contributors to it. they spend a little portion of resources they would need to spend should they do everything by their own for some quality product (like their homebrew unixes, that ALL are superior to linux), but still they have PAID employees to write for linux. and ReactOS or Haiku are communities, no such paid employees from loving open sauce corporations. this makes that relation even more ridiculosuly wrong. but in areas, where those fake smiling "big friends" of linux aren't much interested in supporting it, even linux has strong lack of developers, just like ReactOS does. for example, ARM single board computers. no Intel, IBM or whatever "admirer" here. and so, communities like sunxi
do all the job of maintaining, mainlining and all that linux stuff. and they and their users constantly struggle with the "almost works" situation. because SoC vendors care little about linux and make as few of the work as to be able to run that android crap. there, you would find just the same picture - lack of resources and people, voluntarily doing the job in their free time. they aren't numerous as well, as you could suspect.
My point is that in my opinion coding for ReactOS is just a learning/academical exercise, a very good one if you want to learn the windows internals. But not much more.
you forget the main reason why people do something for this project. it's their interest. or passion. they like it, so they do. this simple. it's not a too common hobby, thus a so tiny number of contributors. in addition to the fact that the goal set is freaking hard. don't forget - binary compatibility with the most developed OS in the world
- is kinda not the easiest hobby even among system programming.
The below statement of Quim is wrong in many respects:
There must be millions of trained informatic people out there who could help ReactOS development without requiring any payment. In some ways happened with GNU/Linux development, why not ReactOS?
millions of developers working for free.
in what the Universe? none project has this.
ReactOS has the problem of getting momentum - if it were well usable, it would get much more users and developers as well. given how Windows blows away linux from desktop, ReactOS could easily overcome the latter there too very qucikly. But for being "well usable" it needs developers. This loop is the problem. It might resolve eventually. But one thing needed for sure - is not babbling like this in this strange thread.