In the Phoronix Forums
following Friday's release of the (NDA-free) ATI R300 3D register information
, AMD's John Bridgman
has confirmed that he is looking to release documentation going back to the ATI Radeon 8500 era graphics processors. Years ago ATI had released this R200 documentation to the open-source driver developers at the time, but it was encumbered by legal restrictions.
John doesn't believe these R200 documents will be of any use to the xf86-video-ati developers for improving the Radeon 8500 to 9250 open-source support, but that it will help assist new open-source developers in beginning to understand graphics programming. The Radeon 8500 programming guide consists of what has been described as a "pretty good introductory guide for new driver dev[eloper]s" and "if it allows a few more people to become active developers that can make a big difference."
Bridgman's comments surrounding the R200 documentation can be found in this forum thread