Aside from the fact that being 'easy to use' is not the same as being 'easy to install', as Brian said, I'd like to point out something else about the 'difficulty' of installation, and the seemingly opposing sides of technical vs non-technical users.
In this thread, Moodle, Wordpress and Drupal have been mentioned as examples of tools that have experienced mass adoption after the installation process has been 'sorted out'. I'm really not sure that's the case. Looking at the installation instructions of those three tools, I see there are still a number of steps (and concepts) which could be difficult for non-technical people. I think the mass adoption of those tools has happened because of many other different factors, and should not be linked exclusively, to the installation process. There are free or extremely cheap hosting providers that provide "one-click" installation of these (and other) popular web apps. Maybe this has had an impact on their popularity/mass adoption. But this doesn't mean that the installation of those tools has been sorted out, it means that somebody is offering the 'service' of installing those tools automatically for you. Technically, this can be done with the Adapt Authoring tool too.
What I think is that the Authoring Tool is still seen as a 'typical' Authoring Tool, so people expect it to be as easy to install as others (think about Storyline: you download a file, double-click, and it's installed). But this is not the case, it is a web app (in that sense, the 'comparison' to Moodle, Drupal or Wordpress, is correct). It's meant to be installed on a server, it has other big components around it (database, language/runtime environment, etc.). I wonder how many non-technical people install Worpress, Moodle, or Drupal just on their own computer... yet that's what people want to do with the Adapt Authoring Tool, and they get frustrated.
Don't get me wrong, I think that there's a lot of room for improvement in the Adapt installation, and -for instructional designers- it's pretty understandable that they want to install the tool on their own computer... just to be able to author content themselves.
But let's not forget that the vision here is to have one authoring tool for a group of people, sharing resources, being able to work on the same course at the same time... allowing clients to review things (all this are planned features, afaik). In this sense, the Adapt AT will be far more powerful and flexible than the popular authoring tools we're used to. It shouldn't be too surprising that the technical environment is more complex too, and therefore the installation will be more involved as well.
As has been mentioned, efforts are being made to make installation easier. I personally think that videos and instructions for each platform are not as effective as automation solutions (like Vagrant or Ansible). I usually automate installs and server configuration with Ansible, and this allows me to effectively to install a whole server environment with one command... yet I don't think it's really a solution that non-technical people could use directly.
Even if the Adapt AT installation were very easy, if it is going to be used as intended (on a server, by a group of people), there will be some tasks that will have to be done by technical people: once you're talking about a shared server, you need to take care of networking, security, backups, scaling... and those are technical tasks, and some of them can be complex. Just like with Moodle, for example. You can do an easy 'one-click install' in one of the free/cheap hosting companies, but a serious Moodle installation on a server will require technical maintenance tasks done by technical people.
I'm not part of the core development team or anything, I'm just a community member/contributor... it may seem that I'm 'defending' the 'technical' side, but that's not really the case. Having both formal education and experience on the technical side (computer science) and the non-technical one (Instructional Technology) I understand the frustration that is reflected on some messages of this thread.
From the technical point of view, this is a major effort, and as one reads more and tries to understand where things are, it's clear the people/companies behind Adapt know the importance of creating a tool that non-technical people can use. I don't think that the Adapt Community considers non-technical people as low-priority at all. I don't agree at all with the statement that one can be mislead by the wording on the site. It's very clearly stated that versions prior to 1.0 require the assistance of technical people.
If what Sue says "... we're not a suitable audience because we don't bring enough tech expertise to qualify as early adopters" is really the way that many people feel... then maybe, we, as a community, should try to do something about it, because they shouldn't feel brushed-off as low-priority. Those people who feel that way are not/should not be, expected to bring tech expertise to the community... (that's the role of tech-inclined community members).
Maybe it's just about writing clearer documentation, so there's no doubt that we're still in a development phase. Maybe it's about finding a way so that technical people can provide an installation of the Authoring Tool to non-technical people who want to check it out (but still, they have to be conscious that the software is in development, and therefore not full-featured, and there are also cost considerations associated with this)... I'm not sure, but to me "tech vs. non-tech" fights are not productive. In my experience (in e-Learning development environments) the best results were achieved when we worked in teams where each member contributed their expertise.
Or maybe for some, it's just a matter of waiting, and for others, to keep going. Some may decide to not try to use the tool now and wait and see in a few moths. That's fine.⋅
Regarding Sue's message specifically, I don't really understand when you say "the developers are loosing sight of their own mission statement and ought to hold off adding so many beautiful new branches and foliage to the top of their young tree and devote more time to feeding its roots. ". If you are referring to the vision statement on the front page of the Adapt Community site, I don't see what it is that makes you say that they're losing sight of it. I'm not sure -in that sentence- what you consider superfluous vs. essential.
And also, pardon my frankness too, you're saying that you're not technical, that you have nothing to contribute, but yet you're complaining that the e-Learning forum is languishing.
If the technical forum is buzzing and the e-Learning forum is languishing
- the project is in a development phase, and tech people are contributing, and
- maybe non-technical people could contribute a little more on the e-Learning/instructional design side (or more generally, on anything non-technical).
Even those who can't get to use the authoring tool, know what can be done with it (there are examples of content created with Adapt). What kind of data/course usage would you like to track? How would you design content for Adapt: what components would you use for different types of content (verbal knowledge, concepts, procedures...), what other components would you want to have available? I think that non-technical people can contribute a lot... but that's just my opinion.