flibble: "Why would anyone volunteer in such an atmosphere?"
What atmosphere? Peter and Paul had an argument, a few other people got involved. Why should that be perceived as so much more of an "atmosphere" than any of the arguments in the RISC OS market five years ago, or ten years ago, or fifteen years ago? This one seems relatively polite, by comparison with some of them.
And of course, other platforms have plenty of arguments too.
I would say the same to S Williams' comment above. "Internecine warfare has arrived on the Iyonix mailing list" seemingly is one of his reasons for being fed up with RISC OS. I'm afraid that's totally misleading, all the Iyonix list saw was a few dozen angry emails. They have now stopped (although perhaps not in the best way), and the list has gone back to its usual quietly helpful self.
Compare this with other RISC OS-related mailing lists, which can see hundreds of off-topic posts in a similar timescale... and no end in sight despite the problem having persisted for some years now and having been addressed in a variety of ways.
Or compare the Iyonix mailing list to the Select one. When I was subscribed to it, the Select list mainly saw vast periods of silence, occasionally punctuated by angry outbursts from subscribers wanting to find out when they were going to get anything for their money, followed by the usual excuses; then more outbursts and then more silence.