It would be nice if Phoronix could cover the part of the graphics driver (AGP subsystem) that VIA has already open-sourced and submitted to the Linux kernel with the help of Greg KH:
Congrats to VIA, they couldn't have hired a better guy than Harald, who is one of the foremost fighters for Linux and the Free/Open Source development model.
The BSDs use ALSA and XORG too. Once the drivers are in the tree you could build a FreeBSD box using a mini-ITX VIA motherboard, and a neat little low power green server or media centre that would make.
I have an EeePC 900 running Debian, all drivers are open source and readily available. A VIA netbook with the new Isaiah Processor will be great, and open drivers mean that you (and the manufacturers) could use any Linux or BSD without hassle.
I have built a VIA mini-ITX box to run Ubuntu, it was doable but the X config took a lot of mucking around and getting the mpeg processor part of the graphics chip functional was a difficult thing.
I hope that a year from now I can install any FOSS operating system on a VIA based machine and it will just work.
OK You got me BSD does not use ALSA, perhaps they should make ABSDSA. Last time I tried PC-BSD it could be made work with my VIA Envy24T sound card.
But, back to the point.....
If VIA release the information needed to write drivers then anyone can use it. And that was the point of my original post. They must release documentation in the same way AMD/ATI are doing. The current VIA Linux video drivers are rubbish and certainly would not be used as the basis of the new driver, it would be written from scratch or the current open driver extended.
If all they do is release to code to their Linux driver, they will shoot themselves in the foot.
Intel are attacking VIA's hold on the mini-ITX world with the Atom processor. Open sourcing is a very effective way of fighting back.
S3 open source drivers! We want them! ;)