> To return to the main issue, I think effort applied towards
> documenting "undocumented crap" would have a wider scope than adopting
> or reverse engineering the knowledge in Linux drivers code.


I agree. We've been doing this kind of documentation for seven years
now. I would say it has gotten harder in the last four years. There is
ever more paranoia and unwillingness to open programming details up.
Just compare the Intel L440 manuals you could get in 1999 vs. what is
at developer.intel.com now. The L440 chipset manual was wonderful,
with full docs and a tutorial on SDRAM programming. The stuff there
now is basically useless for writing a BIOS. We have been told that is
intentional.

> Of course, one then
> also needs to deal with binary-only drivers and other such stumbling
> blocks, but my hope would be that eventually hardware manufacturers
> will get the message or will get deselected :-)


It's not working so far. Most people want their games fast; they don't
care about whether the chipsets are documented.


>
> (The philosophy, probably flawed, is that Open Source principles are
> "right" in some transcendent way and that a "good" manufacturer cannot
> continue to overlook the benefits of being on the "right" side of the
> line.


It's an ongoing battle. Toss in DRM and things really get ugly. The
preferred vendor approach is to lock things up when we re not
watching. It's our job to keep watching.

ron