I see your point. I would have been pretty upset, but even moreso because NING is an outside company that McNeel had no control over. As I understand it, Discourse is open source software, and they run it on their own servers, so they can tweak it as they like. And Discourse is much better in the most important thing that bothered me most: I could only see a few posts per page on NING. That drove me nutso. And NING had a WAY stronger social aspect that I didn’t want… I have social networking sites. I didn’t need another for my software help.
I see where you’re going, and I would have fought a switch to NING tooth and nail. But I totally agree with the switch, as it’s the cleanest, most efficient forum I’ve seen so far, it’s being developed, and it’s open source. Good enough. We had to go somewhere. I for one was sick to death of not having mobile access to the newsgroup and no useful way to link to posts and search them. The writing was on the wall for NNTP for years, and the leap had to be made. I’m happy with the choice, so I cannot argue your side too well for you. I hope the NNTP-devotees can adapt. I figure most will, and some will drop off, but I imagine it will be a very small number in the long run.