For some reason, and I have no real idea why, Automattic is totally myopic/cavalier/secretive/dumb ~ whatever ~ about providing compatibility information about plugins.
You can see this displayed (or rather not displayed) every time you use WordPress to search through thousands of irrelevant, no longer current and outdated plugins.
Is it because they don't think it's important? Maybe ~ they only think that what THEY think is important, is important.
Is it because they don't have the programming chops for it? Hardly ~ the information is/or should be contained in every plugin (Better Plugin Compatibility Control by Oliver Schlöbe adds version compatibility info to the plugins page to inform the admin at a glance if a plugin is compatible with the current WP version) ~ once it is installed.
Nice plugin, good attempt, but too late in the process, in my opinion.
Is it because they don't want to come clean with everyone and admit that the bulk of plugins in the repository are out-dated, non-functional, damaging, or present a security risk, if used in the current release of WordPress? More likely ~ since it's the only reason I can think of they don't fess-up and be honest with us.
It would be the work of a moment or two, to include the embedded compatibility data from each plugin, in the search description list, so that you can make up your mind without wasting time digging into the interior or worse, installing and finding out the hard way.
With a simple compatibility of "3.2 – 3.3" or "2.8 – 3.5" in the search description listing you could make your own mind up whether its even worth looking at.
So why don't they do it? I leave you to draw your own conclusions. But whatever you decide is the reason, it can hardly be because you think Automattic, on this occasion, is doing anything else but serving its own interest. Whatever they may be.
It's certainly not serving its customer-base by maintaining this deception. It's high time Matt took the decision to be honest with WordPress users around the world, and show just much much outdated useless and potentially damaging junk lurks within the plugin repository.
Strangely enough, in doing so, I think he would earn respect and admiration for taking a decision ~ which is long overdue ~ by taking it out of the hands of the luckless individual/s who's job it has become to maintain the repository, and who don't have the guts, intellect or wit, or for some other reason, are not willing to tell the king he is naked.
Do the right thing Matt, You know it makes sense.