Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Linux Technology

VIA Announces Open Source Driver Initiative 134

Posted by kdawson
from the itching-for-source dept.
Aron Schatz writes "VIA has announced that they will start a new site (http://linux.via.com.tw — doesn't exist yet) specifically for the development of open source drivers. From their press release: 'Over the following months, VIA will work with the community to enable 2D, 3D and video playback acceleration to ensure the best possible Open Source experience on VIA Processor Platforms. 'To further improve cooperation with the community, VIA will also adhere to a regular quarterly release schedule that is aligned with kernel changes and release of major Linux distributions. In addition, beta releases will be issued on the site as needed, and a bug report and tracking feature will also be integrated.' Nvidia should be next."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

VIA Announces Open Source Driver Initiative

Comments Filter:
  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:41PM (#23005774) Homepage
    For those who don't know, the Zonbu is really a rebranded VIA Artigo: http://what-is-what.com/what_is/zonbu.html [what-is-what.com] (disclosure: my site)
  • This is good timing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:44PM (#23005814) Journal
    They've timed this to fairly well coincide with a new processor design [via.com.tw] that promises better performance than what they've had to date. Hopefully not just drivers but optimizations for their CPU will take off in maturity alongside the growth of their deployed footprint.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:45PM (#23005828)
    NVidia use a whole lot of IP from other vendors, and they CAN'T make everything open source because of that. NVidia has made massive efforts in helping their products work on linux as smoothly as possible, and should be praised for their efforts, not berated.

    If Via own all the IP they use, great! They'll be able to open source the lot. NVidia doesn't, so can't, so why give them a hard time after all their efforts to open source as much as possible?
    • Because no one asked for their IP. All anyone wants is details on the API. They can keep their drivers.

      Nvida has also not open sourced "as much as possible" They got dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way. They didn't assist with open sourced drivers for their on board chipset devices until the open source folks reverse engineered the NVidia's drivers and did a better job than NVidia did.

      Intel can do it. ATI has promised to do it and now so does VIA. Why is NVidia different?

      I'm about 4 months from my next video card purchase and I will be taking a hard look at who has the best Linux support. A 10 FPS difference is not worth drivers that seem to need reinstalling every reboot (thanks NVIDIA).
      • by pc486 (86611) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:07PM (#23006052) Homepage
        > Intel can do it. ATI has promised to do it and now so does VIA. Why is NVidia different?

        ATI hasn't just promised, they did:

        http://ati.amd.com/developer/open_gpu_documentation.html [amd.com]
        http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=842&num=1 [phoronix.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Getting closer, but still no cigar:

          However, this new driver does support the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) family... Don't expect any miracles from this driver just yet. At this point, the RadeonHD driver is really targeted for developers and those wanting to use the experimental driver whether it is due to problems using the fglrx driver on the system or just wishing to test out the driver to see if it works for you. As long as AMD sticks to their word on delivering the rest of their documentation, there will not

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by just-a-stone (766843)
            I am using RadeonHD for ~4-5 Months now and it works like a charm für my X1400. XRandR 1.2 is supported, its auto-detection for dualhead resolutions works better then fglrx/catalyst for me, most things seem to as they are going the "right for Xorg" way.

            At the moment, it only lacks two things for me:
            • * accelerated AND zoomed video/DVD output
            • * power management

            Compared to fglrx, I'm glad they delivered the specs (and AFAIK some consulting for the devs) and not their changing codebase. Fglr

            • It looks like that article is out of date.

              How's the 3D acceleration? What about desktop effects and compositing (compiz)?

              If there's a video decoder on the card (h.264), can you use it?

              It's not fglrx I'm interested in comparing this to, it's this vs nVidia's binary drivers, and vs Windows on the same card.
      • by dotancohen (1015143) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:11PM (#23006082) Homepage

        Intel can do it. ATI has promised to do it and now so does VIA. Why is NVidia different?
        Since September, ATI is really far along, to the point where the free drivers are already improving with the published specs. ATI isn't only promising, they are delivering.
      • Well, I can't say that is too terrible.

        The only time I reboot is when I recompile the kernel. Which will require rebuilding/installing the nvidia-drivers package anyway.
        • It is a very irritating issue, especially if you don't keep every machine you own turned on all the time.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @07:39PM (#23006880)
        > Intel can do it. ATI has promised to do it and now so does VIA. Why is NVidia different?

        I'll probably get suicided for telling you this, but i cant stay quiet any more.

        the driver would reveil that it only has two parameter: maxfps and minpowerreq. Those parameter, on the other hand, is set from a simple jumper on the GFX-Card - the GPU isself has been the same from the first GForce almost a decade ago to the newest 9900 Models they are going to "invent" next year. All GPU's have the same Core, reverse engineered from a UFO that crashed in Fairbanks, New Mexico. They would release the new Models now, but Sam Carter is in another galaxy and is only one who has a signature-key for the Asgarth compiler. So, sorry, no opensource drivers for you! ... ... what's that humming in front of my windows....?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        A 10 FPS difference is not worth drivers that seem to need reinstalling every reboot (thanks NVIDIA).

        Are you living on the bleeding edge of daily recompiled kernels or something? I checked the box in restricted-manager once, and I've never had to worry about it again. I suppose we'll see how it goes with the pending Hardy upgrade soon, but at least for close to six months now it's been a complete non-issue. I do wish the LCD TV I have on the second DVI port would work right though...

        • by gmack (197796)
          Bleeding edge.. close to it. I need KVM working as well as several modules that have only recently started working right.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheDugong (701481)
        "A 10 FPS difference is not worth drivers that seem to need reinstalling every reboot (thanks NVIDIA)." Let me guess, you use Ubuntu and have the restricted drivers installed? I haven't looked at this for 1 or 2 years, but the restricted drivers (including the nvidia drivers) are copied to a ram disk mounted somewhere in the kernel module directory tree (can't remember where) at boot time (no idea why). So, if you have the restricted drivers installed and then install the nvidia drivers from nvidia's web
        • by gmack (197796)
          Debian, manually installed kernel and manually installed NVIDIA drivers. Works until I reboot in which case X won't start anymore and I need to rerun the installer to get it working again. Que the same thing on next reboot. It seems independent of whether I change kernel options or not.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheDugong (701481)
            nvidia module is probably not loaded at boot time. I guess the nvidia installer loads it when the driver is installed.

            See:

            http://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphicsDrivers#head-6cb9442ef3215e7aa8e2e1a13c73a7819a9e9890
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by corvair2k1 (658439)
        It's likely that your reinstall on every boot is necessary because your distribution includes several open source replacement drivers which interfere with the one you installed. This can be fixed via adding

        DISABLED_MODULES="nvidia nvidia_legacy nvidia_new"

        to /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common , or something like it.
    • The real meat of it for me is the video playback.

      From what I can find online NOBODY has h.264 accelerated playback in Linux, and the best solution is to use a hack that loads a commercial software decoder made for Windows.

      Until I read this I thought my next HTPC would be ATI if things ever came to be, but now it may be VIA.

      I will build my next PC as soon as I find a fairly inexpensive card/chipset that will do HDMI out, and hardware H.264 in Linux. I don't care whether it is good closed source (like Nvidia graphics)or open source support either, Just that it works well and is fairly low power usage (pegging a fast multi-core CPU does not count).

      Until Nvidia offers feature parity with Windows on Linux or enough is opened for the community to do it themselves they deserve a hard time.

      If someone knows a good solution for this let me know so I can stop waiting.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edalytical (671270)
        You are aware that you can convert from DVI to HDMI with a single cable...right?
        • What are you smoking??

          Since when DVI started supporting audio?

          • Well you're right, but why would you need HDMI at the chipset level when you can just convert DVI to HDMI? What's wrong with running separate cables for audio?
            • by sxpert (139117)
              HDMI is evil for a host of other reasons...
            • by BLKMGK (34057)
              Depends on WHAT audio you want to pass. Even SPID/F doesn't have the bandwidth to pass several of the new audio CODECs. TrueHD anyone?

              I have an Intel P35 or whatever ASUS board with an HDMI out, I don't use it as the Intel drivers and well just the video chipset itself sucks. For now I use an NVIDIA 8600 with an HDMI out but duh no audio on Linux. CABAC multithread H.264 decoding is awesome but I'd prefer to see the video card doing it. ENVY helps with the NVIDIA drivers BTW, the Ubuntu drivers in the repos
          • Audio works perfectly fine over a DVI->HDMI cable on my ASUS Radeon HD3450 card under Windows. I don't have any other sound source connected, and there's no hardware passthrough.

            The video card apparently includes it's own sound chip, a Realtek model. It could be a perversion of the specs, but it works, and hasn't blown up my TV, so I'm happy.

            -- Joe
            • I am amazed that this is working for you, unless you are using a proprietary cable for your cards DVI out to HDMI.
              I didn't think the DVI spec made any provision for audio on the pinout.
              • Not a proprietary cable, just a DVI to HDMI cable that I picked up off the shelf of a local retailer.

                This is the card in question: http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=2&l2=8&l3=634&l4=0&model=2051&modelmenu=1 [asus.com]

                It would appear that the card is able to detect when a DVI to HDMI cable is being used (the TV indicates that it is connected via HDMI), and sends audio out over the DVI port. (Some Radeon HD cards require the dongle, others, like this one apparently, do not). Since HDMI does not
      • Way wrong (Score:2, Informative)

        by io-waiter (745875)
        Browse the mythtv lists and you will find many h.264 on linux users, I actually watched h.264 yesterday on my linux box.
        The problem is the lack of multithreading on h.264 more than the lack of GPU offloading, the GPU offload barely works in windows I would like to add.

        h.264 on Linux is core2 today, here are som examples on playback hardware
        http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/HD_Playback_Reports [mythtv.org]

        So please stop this myth about h.264 not being possible on linux.
        • Browse the mythtv lists and you will find many h.264 on linux users, I actually watched h.264 yesterday on my linux box.

          All this reports of h264 on linux are H264 played back on the CPU (using mplayer's ffmpeg library).
          A normal mid- to hi- range CPU on a normal or small form factor motherboard.

          What the parent was hoping for was support in Linux for *HARDWARE* assisted decode, the H264 decompression being handled in some hardware chip, either a dedicated chip (as it was the case back in the beginnings of MPE

        • I'm running Linux and have multithreaded decoding of H.264 - works GREAT! CABAC patch to FFMPEG is apparently what does it and no my movies don't have funky stuff done to them during encoding. Lots of converted HD-DVD and one BD so far. Take a look at XBMC on Linux to see this in action. The developers there can tell you more about what they had to do. I see multicore decoding on more than just H.264 too....

          http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=52/ [xbmc.org] XBMC needs more deelopers too guys, help them out - it's
    • by tuomoks (246421)
      Great and dandy (I'm in bad mood today) but hardware is different than software! You can open the interface to your hardware, no matter what IP (intellectual property - define it - in no formal definition!) they use in hardware. It is either unwillingness or they just don't understand? Or maybe they have some contracts with closed systems where they promise not to let others to play? I don't know and it is up to them but sometimes a pain. Weird - you can get the specs from IBM, SUN, NAS, TI, etc for their
      • by sjames (1099)

        In at least some cases, API info is kept hidden so the vendor doesn't have to document that the chipset init procedure is to follow the init sequence and if you lose the hardware race, strobe it's reset pin and try again. After 10-100 tries it'll come up.

        In other cases, it's because the increadible whiz-bang feature so prominantly bullet pointed (strongly implying that the feature is implemented in hardware) turns out to be a cheezy soft implementation in the driver.

        In still other cases, it's because th

    • by faragon (789704)
      Well, still being true, it is not enough as excuse. NVidia has power enough to "communicate" the "importance" of moving to the open source arena... capisci?
  • by lwsimon (724555) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:47PM (#23005838) Homepage Journal
    We're seeing more and more VIA CPUs in Linux-based "low-end" laptops. I think this really bode well for Linux. If we establish a presence in these internet-as-an-appliance devices, we can use it as a staging point to move into the desktop market.
    • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:06PM (#23006040) Journal
      That's total BS. Once more, it is not the year of the Linux Desktop- OR portable.

      It is the year of the rat:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_(zodiac) [wikipedia.org]

      Learn your lunar calendars, Slashdot.
    • There's a reason (two, actually)
      1: VIA chips, although they aren't known for stellar performance, are usually pretty low-power (but nowhere near ARM-based stuff)
      2: VIA produced something called the Nanobook, a reference design for the subsub-notebooks. Two machines have been released under this design: the Everex Cloudbook and the Packard-Bell Easynote XS
    • by turing_m (1030530) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @09:11PM (#23007546)
      You are right. The rise of the low cost computer is the beginning of the end for high profit margins on Windows. The only real way they have of combatting FOSS is to release Windows for next to nothing and hope to extract some sort of money with Office. But that is a losing tactic as well. As capable computers approach the cost of a VCR, consumers will have the choice of getting something that does the job, or something that does the job and costs twice as much.

      What other options do MS have? They can't kill/buy off Via or the other commodity PC manufacturers that will spring up as know-how increases. Import restrictions can't stop world trade, are not popular and take a long time to implement.

      Killer apps to increase future price of computers? The average human has only so many needs that can be filled by an increasing number of instructions per second, especially when those instructions must be executed in parallel. Computers are fast enough for our senses (HD video, sound) and communications needs (bottleneck is in the networking). Most of the killer apps are already here. Any extra functionality enabled by some sort of high powered Intel machine is a small percentage of total functionality provided by the current crop of computers.

      In this sort of environment, owning a computer that will do almost everything is an easy decision for $200, even if it means acquainting yourself with a different operating system. Ubuntu is easy to install, but even easier if it just comes pre-installed on your device with all drivers working. With understanding comes trust, acceptance and consideration for use in other spheres of life. If anything, the killer app is a small, very low power, solid state computer (hence silent while requiring zero maintenance) - for firewalls, NAS, HTPC, portables, general PC use and home gaming. There is no real margin in any of this (except games), and no ability to fund the survival mechanisms of an operating system and office suite monopolist. Only niche players will find the margins.

      With high profit margins comes the resources to lobby, to advertise, to muscle hardware vendors. Maintaining their monopoly has not been cheap, but while there was profit to be had it was a sound business proposition. Without the money coming in, the collapse will be reminiscent of the Soviet Union - without the resources to maintain the empire, the decay will accelerate rapidly and people will be surprised at how rapidly and pervasively it actually happens.
  • nVidia next? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:48PM (#23005856) Homepage
    I think that would be terrific, but the announcement/article didn't say that... this is wild speculation as far as I can see.

    ATI pissed me off too often where I had ATI in my Dell laptop for quite a while. I watched friends with nVidia in their machines do all sorts of nice things under Linux that I couldn't do with ATI. It was annoying, so eventually I bought an nVidia card for my laptop to replace the ATI and I too was doing nice things under Linux that I couldn't do with ATI... then ATI announced they were going strong on releasing their hardware specs and stuff like that opening the door for completely OSS drivers for ATI hardware. (I haven't seen anything yet, but I haven't been watching since I switched to nVidia.)

    And now here I sit with nVidia hardware in my laptop... waiting for driver updates, features and bugs to be added... same-ole-same-ole. I'd love for the speculation that nVidia will essentially fold under the pressure, but at the moment, I don't see that they are showing any signs of pressure.
    • Re:nVidia next? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Mike Zilva (785109) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:11PM (#23006080)
      I've got an intel G35 (integrated graphics) based board from Asus (P5E-VM HDMI) and im'm prety happy with 3D at 1600x1200 on ubuntu 8.04beta. I usualy don't like integrated devices, but I choose this board just bacause intel released open source drivers/specs and they deserve this choice.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by garvon (32299)
        I did the same thing last week. For the same reason.
        So I guess this is a "Me Too!".
        Nvidia has gotten the last of my money. If they can't release the specs for their I will no longer give them my money. Vote with my wallet.
      • by BLKMGK (34057)
        I've got the same board on Ubuntu 7.10 and got pretty frustrated with it. An NVIDIA 8600 card is now in it and it's running much better. If I could get the onboard stuff working well and pass SOUND over that HDMI I might pull the 8600. Are you playing back any HD video on it? Tried XBMC for Linux on it? It performed poorly with the Ubuntu drivers I had when I tried it. I'm no Linux pro and looking over the Intel driver page I was pretty confused. The Ubuntu drivers didn't cut it Any trouble getting that wo
    • Re:nVidia next? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:23PM (#23006216) Homepage

      then ATI announced they were going strong on releasing their hardware specs and stuff like that opening the door for completely OSS drivers for ATI hardware. (I haven't seen anything yet, but I haven't been watching since I switched to nVidia.)
      Released:
      2D specs for R300-R500, R600
      3D specs for R300-R500
      Not released:
      3D specs for R600
      TCore (graphics card simulation)
      Might be released:
      Low-end code from the fglrx driver

      In short, they still haven't released the specs on their latest generation and R700 is expected sometime this year. Yes, it's a promising development but if you want the latest and greatest, it's closed source whether you go with ATI or nVidia...
  • LOL (Score:1, Funny)

    by daveime (1253762)
    Nvidia should be next

    Yes, just as soon as they get the Vista Drivers sorted out ... some time in 2087.
  • kudos (Score:4, Insightful)

    by immerohnegott (949338) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:50PM (#23005884)
    While not exactly a major powerhouse by my estimate, VIA still holds a pretty decent hunk of marketshare. Nice to see one more (relatively) large player see Linux as a valid enough market to make this kind of effort.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by compro01 (777531)
      they're not a force in the desktop, but unless i'm mistaken, they're pretty big in the embedded sector.
  • by questro (802656) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:52PM (#23005898)
    I'll believe it when I see the drivers working on my Ubuntu system with desktop effects active. I've tried the OpenChrome drivers and other things and nothing works with the UniChrome Pro CN400/PM880 video card that I have. Via has been very disappointing so far.
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:10PM (#23006070) Homepage Journal

      I was also thinking this is too little, too late. After a few years of playing around with VIA systems, I've moved to Intel boards where opensource drivers just work.

      Nevertheless, it would be nice to see this work for real. Competition is always welcome. Frankly, it's weird that VIA hardware is geared towards embedded/mobile use, while providing drivers mainly for the most power-hungry OS on the planet.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Same here. I've moved on and I now avoid VIA chipsets if at all possible. I used to have the VIA 686B for my southbridge on a Gigabyte GA-7DX. The VIA drivers were fast but caused massive data corruption. This was mainly only detectable when rebooting the system to find that the registry was corrupted and windows would not boot. Anyone know if their windows drivers, or chipsets, are any better these days?

        As the the linux driver initiative, it's comforting to see them willing to cooperate with the open
    • by julesh (229690)
      I'll believe it when I see the drivers working on my Ubuntu system with desktop effects active. I've tried the OpenChrome drivers and other things and nothing works with the UniChrome Pro CN400/PM880 video card that I have. Via has been very disappointing so far.

      The amusing thing is, I bought a "Linux PC" with Ubuntu preinstalled not long ago, which came with one of these cards. Couldn't get the damned thing to run in more than 800x600, and had to go out and buy an nvidia card in the end...!
  • by $random_var (919061) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:57PM (#23005966)
    They go out of their way to encourage the growth of an ecosystem in which their products can compete. Not too long ago I hadn't heard of any PC/laptop processors besides AMD/Intel, but thanks to VIA's encouragement of the Ultra-mobile PC market (or 'netbooks' as Intel likes to call them) they have suddenly become a player.

    VIA created the nanobook [via.com.tw] reference design for mini-laptops that use their low-cost, low-power chips. Already the CloudBook [wikipedia.org] has come out based on that design, and in other countries various similar laptops have been released from different distributors. Now they're stimulating essential linux development, which will continue to increase the value of their low-cost platform. This has "win" written all over it; we're all going to come out ahead thanks to their strategy.
  • Extend It To Crypto (Score:5, Informative)

    by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:02PM (#23006014) Journal
    I hope they consider extending it to their crypto accelerator. Even low end Via boards (like the C3 I bought two years ago for $60 from newegg) include a hardware RNG and low level AES routines, and it would be cool to get some proper support. I've used Sun's crypto accelerators on their T2000's and the difference on certain algorithms is stunning.
    • by bersl2 (689221)
      Support exists already. Run a version of make config on the kernel sources, and maybe you'll see this.
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:15PM (#23006118) Homepage Journal
      Umm, this has been in the vanilla Linux kernel for a while. I've tried it with the C7 with great success, too bad the rest of the motherboard wasn't particularly good with Linux.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:17PM (#23006144)
      The Via H/W random generator is used as a /dev/[u]random driver in current kernels, and the AES engine is available as an openssl 'engine', so I'm not sure what else you need.

      Via really stuffed up, however, when they made repeated half-baked attempts at 'semi-binary' drivers which worked only on ancient versions like Redhat 9 and wouldn't provide any support or information on the MPEG decoding chip (in the CLE266 and above) which was essential to getting working DVD and DVB playback on the low power boards like the Nemiah.

      I won't hold my breath...

      • by TeknoHog (164938)

        Via really stuffed up, however, when they made repeated half-baked attempts at 'semi-binary' drivers which worked only on ancient versions like Redhat 9 and wouldn't provide any support or information on the MPEG decoding chip (in the CLE266 and above) which was essential to getting working DVD and DVB playback on the low power boards like the Nemiah.

        I agree with the general sentiments on the VIA-Linux relationship. However, my old system with a 1 GHz Nehemiah [sic] and CLE266 played DVDs just fine without MPEG2 acceleration, using MPlayer.

  • Cool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markov_chain (202465) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:06PM (#23006042) Homepage
    Hopefully they will officially GPL their wireless drivers too. They have source code for a nice, hackable, soft-MAC driver right now but no license.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by incripshin (580256)
      Hopefully they don't. I don't understand why the hell is so necessary about that five page document. If they used BSD or MIT license, then the BSDs could use it. Linux people have seen so much GPL software that they think it must be a good thing. I used to be one of them.
  • VIA opened up their drivers? Is that a flying Porcine I witnessed this afternoon on the way home from work?
  • by nbritton (823086) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:50PM (#23006432)
    What about the Envy24 audio chipsets? These chipsets are sweet but the documentation is locked up.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Finally, I won't have to bring my proprietary clubs to the golf course!
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @07:16PM (#23006680) Homepage
    Methinks "VIA will work with the community" translates to "VIA would really like the community to do all the work, and will be good enough to host it on their website", perhaps?
    • by ianare (1132971)
      As opposed to not releasing anything and having the community reinvent the wheel by reverse engineering everything?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Methinks "VIA will work with the community" translates to "VIA would really like the community to do all the work,

      If they just publish the specs and stand back, I'm fine with that.

      If they also release some of their current code under a free license it's a nice bonus. ... and will be good enough to host it on their website", perhaps?

      ANOTHER bonus!
    • by Zoxed (676559)
      Whilst agreeing with your basic cynicism (!!) if they also publish how their hardware *works*, sufficient to write drivers, then it is still a big step !!
  • by Big Jojo (50231) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @07:48PM (#23006962)

    Their press announcement arrived before any content, sigh.

    The PR says the website will start with: drivers, technical documentation, source code, and information regarding the VIA CN700, CX700/M, CN896 and the new VIA VX800 chipsets. It'd be good to see docs on their more widely used chipsets, like vt8235 and vt8237 ... detailed ones, including errata. I mean, currently they piss off almost everyone who uses their chipsets, so why would anyone want to buy NEW hardware with VIA chips if it's not even clear the current stuff can be made to work well?

    It's a nice idea, years overdue. But even at that, pre-announced.

  • If it's GPL3, does that mean Microsoft may NOT re-use the code?
    It would be interesting if all vendors did the same.
    Anyhow, good news, everyone!
    • by LingNoi (1066278)
      Nonsense, Microsoft can use GPL3 code whenever then want, it's just they won't because it's "a competitor".
  • ...so why are VIA trying to split open source driver development resources instead of partnering with/providing support for the existing project that is already being run by a Linux kernel developer [linuxdriverproject.org]. IMO that would do more to actually help the state of open-source drivers, instead of sounding more like a grab for headlines.

    This seems especially stupidly timed the LDP's recent status report [linuxdriverproject.org].
  • Via have had a long time to make good drivers, and there are already OSS projects to which they could have contributed i.e. the OpenChrome or Unichrome drivers. However, they chose to release their own binaries for limited and very old distros, and provided source with a nightmare compile process (see my experiences here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=430420&cid=22186390 [slashdot.org]). If they really wanted to help they could have given the data sheets to these projects and maybe send them some development p
  • I sure hope they get in contact with the folks at the openChrome Project [openchrome.org]. They've developed a very capable drive for the VIA Unichrome embedded video chipset, which is used on most of their boards nowadays. It'd be good to see some collaboration on this front.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.

Working...