I think it might be a bit too early to mourn Spring/ZK/me. Even though the situation might look bleak, there have been worse times in spring's history.
The we would know where to advertise ...
I'm not sure if the situation can be remedied by advertisement. While Spring isn't even close to being the horrid monster aeonios
describes, it doesn't make life easier for people who want to contribute to jump in and do so.
Can it be made easier? Yes. Do you have people with motivation and time to make it easier? Unfortunately I don't think so.
In some ways becoming an engine dev is similar to getting into ZK, you need to stubbornly face technical and inter-personal obstacles. While steam brings a steady stream of players to ZK, how many stay? how many interact with the community? very few.
Similarly I think a recruitment call such as the one made by Wesnoth
(which brought something like half a dozen devs, they told me) might bring some initial interest, but in the end it's not going to work for Spring for various reasons:
1) Wesnoth is a flagship linux game, Spring is not even a game. While they could get advertised on Slashdot, it's likely that we won't be able to. (although I think we can get to some other places like phoronix)
2) Wesnoth has a much bigger player base and campaign developer base.
3) Wesnoth people are far less notorious about their friendliness or lack thereof.
4) Wesnoth is a less complex engine.
Add all these together and you understand that you need a miracle to find someone that would have enough time motivation to be part of the Spring project and isn't already around here in some way or another.
Moreover, you can only put a call out if the current devs have time/motivation to really assist and work with newcomers.
You use the engine in your project and submit modified code back to them
do this and they are definitely talented and brave enough to hack the engine.
You create a foundation and use it to funnel money to them
Probably no. But although money and Spring don't mix too well, we have a unique opportunity here, as I have a free week or so starting Oct. 15th, and will code for shelter/food if it's somewhere nice and not too far from Germany.
I know that doesn't solve the problem at all, I'm just abusing the thread a bit ;)