This is not my work. I am free just to walk away, but would be interesting to know if any better solution could possibly exist. I do not name the project because discrediting it is not between my goals. I just want to help the open source community by publicizing the known and recommended ways to solve my problem, that is for me real.
The project is popular, has many users, so understandably they accept new contributions via merge requests and code review, at least from newcomers. I have opened four requests for them without any evil intention expecting to join an interesting community. Two were rejected and one is now stuck deep in the review swamp without big hope to push it through. Only the first one has been merged.
I see the reasons of rejection as quite frivolous: "I think this should be fixed in a completely different way" (but the fix works, is clear to understand and does not break anything, why would you rather live with that bug?), "I think this is superniche and we do not need this feature" (why do you keep this entry in Bugzilla if you do not even accept it already implemented?), "I think the error message you proposed is still difficult for the users to understand" (the message it replaced is so mangled that "no meaning can be inferred" as written in bug report not by me), "this bug is not relevant when code runs in a sandbox" (and what? in many cases it still does not) and the like. Plus "code style issues" not documented anywhere (what is written down, I attempt to follow). Still, looks like there is more than one person working on the project. How do they find a common talk between themselves? I think that some developers either do not get the code reviewed or just get very shallow check. How to get into this circle with the goal to be productive?
I tried to make very small changes, assuming this would leave little room for any criticism. Nope, small changes attract the most of negativism. But any more complex changes, obviously, leave a lot of room to think that something could be different and also resolving merge conflicts eat lots of work while you fix that is not broken.
I worked in some notable open source projects in the past, but it was at the time when this pull request pipeline was not so tough. Changes were sent as patch files into mailing list first, and if nobody objected much (that usually was the case) most of serious developers had rights to commit into master. Reverting committed patch was big event seldom done. Now looks like any elite developer is free to say veto for whatever reason comes to they mind when the contributor even has no right to discuss (when I attempted once the request was immediately closed).
Apart from that call of complete rewrite, I was generally responsive to proposals from reviewers, not that they propose to rename a variable and I stick to my version regardless what. It still feels like carving the code in stone: I would be five to ten times more productive if left alone just on my own, instead of endlessly changing one working version of the code into another that is I agree not worse but looks just about the same.
Should I maybe fork the project? It is under GPL license.
Is it a way to get respect in this community and do something constructive there or should I just leave them? My level in general should be good enough for them; I am software engineer working multiple years with the programming language they use.