I've not played minecraft for a while (at least a year or so) and recently started again.
I always liked to mod using forge, and looked if I could upgrade to a more recent version of minecraft. The version I used until now is still 1.12.2
However I noticed that out of the mods I had on my list (about 40 or so) almost none were updated past 1.12.2
I understand that it takes time to update, and some projects are abandoned, but it never happened to this extent before.
Has there been a change in minecraft and/or it's community that caused this?
Is the minecraft mod community dying out?
Just to give you an idea of some of the mods I'm typically using (and their current status):
industrial craft (1.12.2)
tinkers construct (1.12.2)
storage drawers (1.12.2)
pam's harvestcraft (1.12.2)
Optifine (one of the few updated)
open computers (1.12.2)
not enough items (1.12.2)
just enoug items (1.14 in alpha)
no more recipe conflict (1.12.2)
iron chests (1.14 in alpha)
immersive enineering & railroading (1.12.2)
forge enderdech & codechickenlib (1.12.2)
armor plus (1.13 in beta)
xaeros minimap (one of the few updated)
This is no different in a way (it's no 1.8 to 1.10.2 similarity but for wait a few months to a year for the big mods I find is normal in my opinion and I know not all will agree, but I play anything on new or old versions for tech, magic, storage, tool mods or otherwise so I'm never bothered by it but I understand some can if they can't play without them), Forge and mod devs have taken a while for, only difference is that they removed legacy code and restructured (took up most of the time really and it's not finished yet from what I've heard from developers) Forge for 1.13 as well as had to deal with the ID flattening that Vanilla dealt with. Rift and Fabric have been around from June 2018 (Rift at least Fabric came around December 2018) up to now and make up a percentage of the mods for 1.13 and 1.14. Fabric isn't a competitor to Forge but I feel like is the Liteloader (Rift and Fabric are the Liteloaders of 1.13/1.14) of 1.14 only that it has content rather than just assistance stuff like minimaps, light level, and other helpful stuff that aren't content focused which Liteloader was known for like Voxel Map, Autofish and so on. Fabric is also just good for small mod devs besides Forge and Forge is good in 1.14 but is far from completed and is unstable to a degree but runs well from my experiences while Fabric from made from scratch and is modular, so don't expect a mod menu installed for example like with Forge as it's a mod separated from it, it isn't all bad but a thing to get used to I'm just saying.
Otherwise though in terms of alternatives for the mods your after in 1.14 I'd say look around a bit and as a person that covers mods daily for 1.13/1.14 with forum threads like those in my signature and youtube videos while the big youtubers are playing modpacks or doing other things I do focus on these a lot for the community and the developers of mods for those versions so I know or remember a fair amount about this time to help players interested since I myself enjoy these but they aren't for everyone especially if the thing they are after isn't available yet or even on both versions, 1.13 or 1.14.
I'd like to recommend some alternatives though if you are curious (they won't be directly the same but close enough, and note Fabric and Forge are not compatible together yet like with how Liteloader and Forge are so you have to choose one or the other):
-Tech mods like IC2, BuildCraft or immersive Engineering = Refined Machinery (Fabric mod) the only others on forge (Useless mod, Silent Mechanism) or Fabric (VivaTech, Mess Production WIP name mod) are smaller scaled and have different goals or are a WIP at this point still.
-Thaumcraft - ArcaneMagic for Fabric, I don't know of any other magic mods that have a similarity to it but there might be one I'm missing.
-Storage Drawers - Stockpile (a barrel mod for Fabric) or Cursed chests as an Iron chest spin on things.
-Wawla - Hwlya for Forge or Fabric, it is a Waila mod but others like WIT (What is That) haven't been updated since or others to my knowledge haven't updated yet.
-Tinker's Construct - Materilaisation or Tool Builder with Fabric, no Forge ones to my knowledge, that or the Tinkery datapack for 1.14, datapacks are Vanilla mods that came about in 1.13, they are really good but have their noticeable differences from mods.
-Pam's Harvestcraft - Either simple farming from Forge, or Epicurean Gastronomy from Fabric.
-Optifine is only Rift/Fabric compatible at the moment in 1.13/1.14 versions, Forge has no support for it yet but it will.
-Open Computers - CC:Tweaked (Computer Craft: Tweaked) or TIS-3D.
-JEI or NEI - Roughly Enough Items for 1.14 is ahead of JEI in terms of features and stability, if you want NEI but for 1.14 go with REI, if you want say the Light Level feature though you'll need Light Level Overlay Reloaded for Forge or Light Overlay for Fabric.
-Iron chests - like I said above Cursed Chests. That or if you want a barrel version there is Iron Barrels for Fabric and Metal Barrels for Forge.
-Armor Plus - Emerald Tools or Vanilla Toolsets for Fabric, on the Forge side I'm not too sure, I don't know if Simple Ores has armour but either way, the others on the Fabric side a the closest to Armor Plus and I have only used Armor Plus a few times.
-Xaero's Minimap - Either it or Voxel Map for Forge, otherwise you have Mappy or Voxel on Fabric, Mappy is like Xaero's I'd say but a bit limited since it was made from scratch.
For a Fabric to Forge mod comparison though check here also (mostly small mods but for those I mentioned this is a list by some of the Fabric devs and the Fabric alterative/their version of a Forge mod. But ones like Storage Drawers, Tinker's and JEI/NEI comparisons are clear here):
If you interested check those mods out or my Fabric forum thread for info on other mods or how to install it. I make this information for the community if they want it, if not that's fine. If you want to stay on 1.12.2 and wait that's fine but if you want 1.14 access this is the best I know of right now. Any of those mods I didn't have alternatives for I wasn't sure of an alternative for as of writing this or one doesn't exist yet. Especially for railroading for example, I don't know of one that excites that does that yet, and mods I know that could do that on a simpler or small but could be ported over level haven't yet.