I receive hundreds of GitHub notifications a day. Moderating the message board and reading every single notification is sometimes all I can do in a day on top of my regular job. This means that I don’t have any time to actually improve Atom. Reading a notification of a “+1” is just a waste of time for me because I consider every Issue important … that’s why it isn’t closed. The reason why we lock Issues from further comment is because we already know it is important, there is a point of significantly diminishing returns on +1s, and so we can hopefully stem the tide of rampant notifications so that we can have time to do something that isn’t just “catching up on notifications”.
Why do I read every … single … notification? Because I feel that all of the Issues are important. (I have considered creating a tool that clears notifications for +1 comments, but I haven’t had time for that either lately.)
Also, download count does not equal users. That could be one user that downloaded it 78,629 times. See my blog post, Why Download Count is a Crappy Metric, for more details.
For the record, I am one of the users of highlight-selected and have recommended it on many occasions.
Disclaimer: I am not an employee of GitHub nor a member of the Atom Core team. I’m just an enthusiastic volunteer.