Is mailinglist/discourse activity a good indicator of the health of an open source project?

This question is not about Julia. The discourse site here is great, one of the biggest draws for me to Julia (other than the language itself).

I’m evaluating another well-known and old project for use at work that has lots of tutorial pages, etc., but the mailinglist is dead. It isn’t that my questions aren’t being answered, but that nobody’s questions are being answered.

I’m inclined to disqualify that software for use based on that alone. Is that fair of me? Or have I been spoiled by the richness of the community here?

I’m also aware of the thankless hours of free work that goes into open source projects, etc., and support is something we’d consider paying for, were it available.

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