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I think AMD have been VERY good to Linux, taken in consideration the marked share Linux have for gaming. If that marked share can be measured at all.
Gaming is not everything where graphic cards are used in linux. And I would argue that gaming is not even top five. There are myriad of things other than 3d-gaming where basic and solid graphic card drivers are essential. Top on my list are work and other 2d use of computers.
Uhm, just about all the basic functionality, 2d/3d acceleration and Xv is available for <r600.
Support for r600 and up is in the works, but these cards have a totally different architecture, and there are only a few open source developers who are able to work on the drivers at this time, because AMD is having problems clearing the documentation for release because of legal issues.
To be clear, the present situation as regards the open-source drivers is NO ONE's FAULT. It's a combination of limited resources and unforeseen problems. Whining that your HD2xxx H3xxx or HD4xxx card still doesn't work is NOT HELPFUL.
ADM's actions makes me angry. They talk about open source support and releases some documentation now and then, but clearly priorities are elesewhere.
There is clear disparity in priorities with closed source drivers and open source documantation. If AMD realy wanted to help us (and itself) it would put more effort to releasing documentation faster. I don't necessarily mean full 3d, but at least 2d acceleration and video so that drivers would be usefull for desktop and hdtv.
You can't have 2d alone because that relies on 3d on the newer cards. So you won't see any news about 2d unless you firstly see 3d specs opened . Same thing goes for the video. But HDTV with the open driver will always be tricky, coz you need video acceleration on the GPU I think, if you want decent results... besides maybe some big changes need to be done in X as well.