"In part, this is a case of conflating open source of circa 1997
or so with open source of 2009. It also reflects that most of the
people who are loudest about open source as a social movement
emphasize hobbyist communities rather than corporate sponsorship
and in-house professional development. Indeed, these people often
decry the latter as a betrayal of free-software principles.
"The reality for most commercially important projects is much
different. The bulk of the development is directly funded by IT
vendors for self-interested reasons. In the case of the Linux
kernel, the work is shared by a large number of companies. Other
software, such as JBoss and MySQL, are primarily worked on by
developers at a single company.
"Support for major open-source software is similarly
commercialized. Although "community support" (that is, forums,
blogs, Twitter, etc.) may often in fact be pretty good mechanisms
to track down fixes, they're not the only one. A Red Hat Enterprise
Linux customer, for example, can get support in exactly the same
way that someone with a support contract for Microsoft Windows
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