It seems that every time I want to post something to ASP.NET or to this blog, I get some kind of errors. The frustration of using this stuff is one thing, but the bigger problem is that we kind of expect these forums and blogs to be examples of "how to do stuff" on our beloved platform.
I've looked at the source of these two packages and I find them to be needlessly complex approaches to otherwise simple problems. An online forum in particular is at its core four database tables with simple relations (I realize there's more to it, but that's the core required to collect posts and display them).
Other platforms have some great stuff out there. They might be commercial, but you'd think that with Microsoft's backing it wouldn't be a big deal. vBulletin is an amazing product for PHP. What I really like most about it is that the most recent version took a very hard look at what we expect and do with a forum and came up with a much cleaner interface. I frequent a number of sites that use it and I love it. Even the original UBB written in Perl, arguably the original Web-based forum we all immitate today, was awesome, and generally just worked (and it was written by one guy).
Where is our UBB or vBulletin? People keep telling me it could be my forum if I kept improving it, but it doesn't have the features to make it popular. (Actually, it meets my needs 100%, which is part of the reason it's so hard to keep improving it.)
I guess the thing about the Microsoft Web jockey community is that it's still dominated by people from the corporate world. Corporate types think differently. On one hand they're generally a lot smarter than I am (though I suppose after working for enough public companies I'm supposed to be a corporate type), but on the other hand their approaches lack the guerilla instinct that the typical one-man band has (the Chris Sawyer's, Ted O'Neill's and even the John Carmack's of the world). Maybe there just aren't enough people out there as clever as the people on the .NET team itself.
Maybe the release of Whidbey will reveal new and fabulous things from the community.