But here is my question:
I know fglrx in total will never be open source due to lots of license issues and IP, which AMD can never release, because it doesn't belong to them. What I don't understand is, why AMD doesn't release the parts of the driver as open source, which definitely belong to them. I heard the power management code is one of the biggest chunks inside of fglrx and I suppose that due to its proprietary nature, it cannot contain much licensed code. Again due to its proprietary nature it should be completely useless to your competitors.
I also know that a power management library ripped out of fglrx as such will be just a big hunk of useless code for the open source devs, because of missing interfaces. It won't even compile. But the logic, which says when to switch into which state; when to write what into which register, should be applicable also to the open driver.
Oh and while we are at it: Exactly the same question for the OpenCL client library. It would make so much sense to at least open source the ICD loader and put it under a BSD license. Like that it could be included by default in any linux distribution and it could be established as _THE_ standard implementation. Just recently I had to do a rollout of two different clients of our software for nvidia and amd graphics cards, because of subtle differences in the ICD loader. In my opinion the first one offering a free (GPL or BSD) solution for an OpenCL ICD loader library (one which can be linked statically under linux) will be the standard distributor of that lib for all eternity. Sorry for the off-topic.
You basically trade will for knowledge and ability :D
If we have trouble getting approval to release a specific block of programming info, do you think we would have an easier time releasing the same info mixed with 5 million lines of proprietary source code, particularly when that source code is written to work across multiple OSes and most of those OSes *require* robust DRM as part of the design ?
re: client driver...
The GPU business is *very* competitive, and small differences in performance & features drive many of the buying decisions. The cost of driver development is the primary entry barrier for new competitors. Why would an established vendor give away their competitive advantage ?
There is a standard client lib already (mesa) -- are you sure you want to see it replaced with something 10x the size and optimized for one specific HW vendor ?
Well of course you are not born with knowledge but there is a difference in a Computer scientist/engineer than the hobbyist who knows how to write hello word in C and Java and wants to contribute.
for serious PC-gaming even on Windows©, with such frivolous support-drops, lack of PhysX-support and similarly glitched drivers (see Rage fiasco), AMD GPU hardware doesn't look very promising (only performance/price ratio still saves it. existence of which also means that managers know that and set prices accordingly). even i (AMD-fanboy from early teen years) really tempted nowadays to buy low-power Intel-based desktop and a PS3 (i'm using PS3 gamepad for gaming anyway, might as well drop xbox-gamepad emulation bullshit and delete Windows© altogether, will be able to play some MGS: GZ like a boss as a bonus).
and using that order of things to prevent newcomers to break the oligopoly.
daaamn, i so dream of the day, when anti-monolopy commitees of the world would rise from their asses and break some ties in this situation. but i might as well wait for unicorns to ascend from the sky to help us... or for "robust DRM" to start making sense, materialise and fuck all our cumputers up beyond saving.
PS: don't take all this as a some kind of personal insult. it's just that PM is a hot topic and it pisses me the fuck off. i know you only saying a sad, sad truth.
Really you guys know how the cards work, and fglrx works with them, anything else is pointless since its using functionality that hasn't been exercised or QAed.
please stop making excuses. you could maybe improve r500 to the level of fglrx but r600 and upwards its a waste of time and it would require years of testing before we could enable it by default, since no other drivers have ever tested these codepaths.
Is it worth trying to match fglrx with the current code ? I don't think so (other than for r600 and below). Is it worth improving the current code enough to give a bunch of current users full use of the profile mechanism (and maybe a few options in between), particularly on middling-old hardwere ? I think so...
Now, if you're saying that my perception of a non-trivial number of users not having enough entries in the power tables to be able to make good use of low/mid/hi settings is completely wrong, then maybe we are at the limit of what can be done today and I'll shut up ;)