The propreitery and the floss one serve two different usergroups.
Because developing a real opensource driver requires to integrate with the existing ecosystem. Neighter Catalyst nor the Nvidia blob are good citizen in the open source ecosystem.
So a theoretical opensource Catalyst will end as only maintained by AMD because no real opensource developer will even bother to look at software which doesn't integrate with the standard linux graphics driver model.
Aside from this the legal review of the catalyst source code will likely cost them more than a few opensource developers for the next years.
They can't take that and plug it into gallium neither open source it (for whatever reason). Apart from that AMD never said afaik that it will write the drivers for the community. They provide documentation and have hired one (or more i am not sure) dev so far to work on the floss side of things, which is something really nice from their part IMO. And they will hire more as it seems.
other amd customers the CAD workstation customers want the catalyst driver amd also want the catalyst because they need it against nvidia.
thats why they pay for both the radeon and the catalyst.
The real benefit of a proprietary/binary driver, however, is that delivering in binary form allows you to share code across multiple OSes without having to worry about exposing DRM-related features required by other OSes - which, in turn, allows us to offer more features and performance to Linux users than we could by investing the same amount in a Linux-specific code base. Any time you see a proprietary driver there's a pretty good chance that the same rationale applies.
The one thing that the proprietary driver can't be is open source - because of all the code it shares with other non-open OSes - and that's where the open source code base comes in. It also allows us to prioritize a different set of use cases so we can get another group of happy users while both drivers continue to improve.
We are now looking for one more developer for a total of four (plus some of my time for better or worse )...
get your whip out and get them started asap
on a serious note i want to ask if there are any agreements with Ms or Apple that prohibit open sourcing drivers used for mac os x and win (apart from licensed and DRM stuff).
ie lets say a new company appears and wants to use g3d across all OSs will it be able to do it or there will be trouble with something like that.