Certainly, taking into account coders' motivation is important but I think the motivation is not only fun, there is also a social aspect. When we, coders, see people enjoying our work and giving us appreciation back, it feels great. So recognition is a factor too. Another one is collaboration in the scene. At the beginning is fun to do some small coding alone but working with others, especially with other people who has a name in the scene feels great. Finally, having clear goals help developers too. It is not the same to work towards one satisfaction that to try to meet some community set standard of quality.
So I think that having specifications for the cores, and having them listed publicly will help MiST overall. Of course, from the user perspective it helps too. I think the list from Newsdee is a good starting place. It needs more visibility. Maybe a link from the Github site of MiST? People who are not coders could make the quality team. A section on the wiki page of the Github site could be a good hosting location.
Coders who are not actively writing new cores, can spend some time reviewing cores from a hardware design perspective to identify issues. We need the cores to be as clean and compliant to high quality HDL as possible because otherwise, either they fail to operate reliably or development stops because issues become intractable.
As part of the recognition process to motivate coders follow this quality standard, we could have a prize in Summer and another in Winter for the best cores. We give this event some publicity in social media. This will attract both new developers too and new users. This will also show the importance of the people working on the quality team as they become judges of the work.
Well, I am just throwing ideas out because I want to keep working as a developer and not as quality but I hope some people will take the lead here. We really need people looking at these things. It's like a business, we need a quality department and some managers to organize the team. Maybe we also need marketing... a Twitter/Facebook account. Indeed, there is a lot of potential here. I think this project is still on an early stage.
By the way, maybe we need a separate thread for this. I'm not sure how to copy over the messages...