@mcv, the lack of progress in certain areas is purely a matter of (a lack of) resources. Google has billions of dollars and thousands of paid developers to throw at software; since the project was handed to its community in 2012, diaspora* has been built and maintained purely by volunteers working in their spare time. The core of developers who have continued working on diaspora* over a period of years – rather than making a few PRs and then disappearing, perhaps with a feature half-developed and abandoned – has remained small. This has, sadly, meant that some much-needed features have not been developed.
The foremost thing that is needed is for someone who wants a feature and who has the necessary skills to step forward and say ‘I’ll make this’, and then go ahead and work on it until completion. If you’d like to be one of those people, that would be fantastic. You can be assured of as much support as the core team is able to give you; although, given the voluntary nature of all work on diaspora*, it can sometimes take a long time to properly review a complex PR.
I hope you’ll want to join the team!