Support Issue In Open Source

Matt Asay wrote the article about support issue in open source.

The point are :

The research revealed something that I suspected but had not yet seen data to prove: developer communities are great for developers, and not so great for anyone outside them.

What does this mean if you're an enterprise hoping to hitch a free ride on an open-source project? Well, it means that you're better off paying a little money for professional support. Free support is good up to a point, but if that point ends when your job begins, you may be in a world of hurt without it.
 Well i totally agree with his statement. Free support is bad, i mean without paid 
developer of course don't want wasting time to give us support. They only give us support in forum while developer answer that if they had time.

2. Fact case study comparison free support and paid support
* Studies utilizing developer mailing lists show that only a handful of core and active developers discuss code development (Barahona et al., 2004; Mockus et al., 2002) , with very little discussion on some of these lists (e.g., the Apache web server list). You're either in the know, or you're not, apparently.

* Lakhani and Hippel (2003)...found that ~2% of the knowledge providers were responsible for about 50% of the answers to questions posted on the help system and 50% of the questions were provided by 24% of the knowledge providers. [In other words, you get a lot of mileage out of just a few people - in terms of resolving questions and in posing questions - and most others are along for the ride. On Apache, especially, only a few people actively answer questions on the list.]

* Krogh et al. (2003) found that 36.7% of new participants [to the developer, not user list] got no response to their questions. [Apparently, the best source of support will not be a pure community.]
Studying the Debian mailing lists, Sowe et al. found that] [i]n the Developer list participants contributed more replies (mean = 34.52) than posts (7.95). The reverse was the case in the User list. Participants posted more than they replied to questions asked in the list. One explanation for this could be, as Mockus et al. (2002) discovered in the developer mailing list of the Apache project, postings in the developer lists may contain sufficient information to allow others to comment on them...[whereas the user questions are not considered interesting or informative enough to warrant a response.
Mmm i don't think so, say if developer don't wasting time to support, then they can gather community to help newbie user. For example Hibernate forum, Ruby forum.