Very apt, very judgemental, and very inappropriate.
I can't count the number of times I've wanted to understand a topic, picked up a piece of opensource software (abandoned or not) and learnt plenty from their code.
While I agree that sourceforce has become a dumping ground for abandoned software this is more a problem with sourceforge (i.e. they don't prune non active projects) rather than with the sentiment of the developers giving away what essentially is their time (whether they continue to do it or not).
As you say we're all busy people, and the last thing we need is for people to start becoming afraid of releasing their source//project because they might not be able to support it fully. It might be nice if the community started to actually get invovled rather than just expecting to use the projects that are given away so willingly and more to the point expecting to both get the code, documentation and support for free.
As you've put in the title this is a rant, a personal one by someone who has obviously just recently been effected by alot of abandoned/useless projects (and it does appear to have been pretty painful). This isn't to say that there arn't many people out there (including myself) that have benefited from "dead" projects and more to the point got of their arses and got involved with bringing useful code back from the dead.
Furthermore, writing an online journal and making your project public in other ways does not increase the likelihood that your project will succeed, because the power to finish something comes from a personal drive to complete the job, and no amount of publicity, nor an infinite number of fan emails will make you finish it if you don't already have the ability to finish the job.
I don't agree with this at all. Different people, different resoponse. For me I very rarely intend to finish a game, its all about the learning experience. For you its all about personal drive. For other its about ego and community respect. For many its about money. For others still its about not being bored when ill at home. The point being that differemt people are driven by different things. It is true to say that if you don't have the ability you won't finish the job, but its not fair to critisise the way that people keep themselves motivated.
As to online journals, its fair to say that writing a journal about the development of your project _can_ get a community started. Which when you run out of time. enthusiasm or ability can be very useful. I.e. an interested community can/will help out. However, yet again this comes down to getting the community to get involved which seems to be blood from a stone.
EDIT: looking back across this its probably an equally personal rant, feel free to ignore it.