Actually these two actions are related.
I can imagine the disappointment among hbase users if HBASE-3777 weren't
included in 0.90.3
I can also imagine the disappointment if we release a 0.90.3 that
contains more bugs than it fixes, it goes both ways. Moreover,
HBASE-3777 wasn't targeted and still isn't targeted for 0.90.3, so I
don't see how even if someone paid attention to the jira they would
expect to see it in 0.90.3
I'd like to state that I'm not trying to discredit the work that was
done in that Jira, it was a perfect example of open source
collaboration, but I'm rather trying to point out that it's a big
change and that the bigger the change the better the chances are that
there will be bugs lurking in it. You could easily list big patches
that were committed to point releases in the past and I would agree
with you that this is something we've done, but I can also recall a
number of those changes that introduced more bugs and even made some
releases unusable (like 0.20.4). Let's try to learn from our errors.
Finally, even if it's not in 0.90.3, the fact that a backport be made
available means that people can patch it in themselves or that other
distros can decide to include it (like in the next CDH3 update). And
finally we could do a 0.90.4 with it.