This is a very old topic. It resurfaces in various guises quite regularly, as the many threads attest. In my view, by far the best single thread which deals with this subject is the following thread from last March.
Reading that thread and fully comprehending it should be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to wade into these waters again. Otherwise they are prone to coming across as ill informed and unable to offer any constructive criticsm.
My post #17 (which immediately followed the Moose's post which itself provided context to my own post) did not say discussion was verboten but it did indicate perspective was needed. I do find perspective often lacking in those clamouring for changes. Too often the vociferous critics have no, I emphasise, no practical solution to the problem; which problem is more often than not one entirely of their own making being based on unwarranted false self perceptions as to what constitutes reality. Or in some cases it arises simply from just being a very poor player who, for whatever reason, does not understand the rules or how to implement them.
I do become exasperated when half baked ideas are put forward. Only a few people regularly post on the forum and by and large they have a substantial amount of game time. Posters who do their research and put forward a properly thought through proposal do get a good hearing from the devs. Unfortunately there are several people who when they experience an unsatisfactory outcome, which almost always is due to their own play decisions and not code problems, essentially rant and rave. I know that there are many people on this forum who believe that a public rant and rave is acceptable behaviour but I was brought up that only ill mannered people did so. There are polite ways to express disagreement. Your own post #22 is such an example. Instead what I see far too often are people who, incapable of themselves producing an AE, rant and rave and in the process denigrate the efforts and knowledge of the devs. I have enormous respect for the devs, not so for boorish behaviour.
Let me give you an example of a very recent, in the last 24 hours in fact, half baked idea in this general area from a very well known and experienced forum member. One of the significant factors which impacts upon the practical outcome of co-ordination is the size of the air group. Almost from the beginning Allied players have bemoaned the fact that Japanese airgroups often are larger than Allied airgroups and this provides them with a practical advantage. The recent half baked idea, raised in a post which was supportive of this current thread addressing the problem, is that post 1943 Allied fighter groups should be allowed to increase in size to 75 planes. No doubt that would make playing the Allied side so much easier; so much easier to meet 42 plane sweeps from Mr Tojo, so much easier to have a decent sized CAP and a decent sized escort from the same unit. But it doesn't take an Einstein to realise that then JFB players would complain about the advantage given to the Allied player. In the noise created, the subtle ramifications, such as less flexibility or overtaxing small (think particularly of level 1) airfields, or more quickly running up against the 200 pass limit, would be lost. And still the fundamental issues which arise from the necessity to abstract the entire air co-ordination issue would still not be addressed by this code change.
Sometime ago, Bullwinkle pointed out that AE is a Chevrolet but people demand a Cadillac. These same people are not prepared to pay the price of a Cadillac, which price is measured not just in dollar terms but also in game complexity. The people who complain the loudest do not represent the commercial marketplace of this product. In responding to the incessant demands to fix things, and yes post #6 is a clear cut demand for remedial action to make the beta playable, michaelm has made several code changes. Quite a few of those are changes I do not agree with but it is not my call to make and so I don't voice a criticsm. As I said in my previous email, I adapt to whatever is before me. If something is not accomplishing its design purpose, that is something which properly can be brought to michaelm's attention. That is how I read Damian's presentation of this anecdotal incident. It is the behaviour I see from the experienced military members of the forum. What I don't see from those who actually know what they say when it comes to military praxis, is a running battle disputing the validity of the choices made by the devs. A similar state of affairs also exists with those who actually do write computer programs.
As to those who tar me with having an opinion. I am constantly reminded of the great line from a former New York Senator (Daniel Moniham [sp]) that people are entitled to hold their own opinions but not their own facts. Too many around the forum incorporate their own "facts" into their opinions. I tend to document the "facts" I present and actually try to avoid presenting my own opinions. The forum provides a marketplace for the articulation of ideas which are supported by "facts". In such a marketplace, ideas which rest on non facts do not deserve much attention and will fail to find favour with the devs. Taking into account the complexity of this game and the learning cliff faced by newbies, it beholds all who post to be accurate and not create their own "facts" which can potentially adversely affect newbies.
As always a pleasure to read. Largely agree with you. Thanks for taking time to put this down.