To be fair, this issue really has almost nothing to do with Linux on the desktop. This is about the kernel mailing list. The kernel has been used successfully on Linux desktop systems for over 15 years now; it's really not holding anything up there. Most of it is a solved problem. There's some interesting work still going on there to be sure, but most of it is either for servers/high-performance computing or for embedded systems, not for standard desktops. There's nothing that can be done in the kernel that will magically make Linux a much more attractive option for the desktop.
Almost all the stuff that could be done to improve the desktop experience is in userspace, which by definition doesn't have anything to do with LKML: things like init systems, desktop environments, application software, distributions, etc. The main exception is graphics drivers, but even that isn't really a LKML topic, those things (like Nouveau) are pretty big projects by themselves and aren't conducted on the LKML. And of course, it should be obvious that the biggest impediment to Linux on the desktop isn't really technical at all, it's the availability of application software (though I suppose you could argue that improving WINE would make a big difference here).
Anyway, the point is, this issue is about only one part of the whole FOSS/Linux community; other projects don't have this notoriety.