One thing of *extremely* important thing I learned at SIGGRAPH (fromBrian Paul) is that the DRI project no longer has *any* funding fromanyone. This means that DRI driver work is only being done in the freetime of DRI developers. This is a *very* bad situation. The already-slowdevelopment cycle of DRI drivers will get even slower, and we may notsee new ones at all.
In my opinion, it is time for the community to put their money wheretheir mouth is. If people want open drivers, I believe they will need tostart paying for it. There’s a couple of ways that this couldpotentially work:
1. A donation site (unlikely to generate enough revenue, because peoplewill simply “forget” to pay)
2. Special, license restricted “extra functionality” drivers thatrequire payment, while basic drivers remain Free.
Since learning about the DRI funding situation, I’ve been rolling thisaround in my head (even though I am more than happy w/ NVIDIA, it is toLinux’s advantage to have drivers for as many cards as possible, andthere are more than a few that believe strongly about the Open/Freeaspect of drivers). I’m not sure how it will work, or whether will bepossible to generate enough revenue to support the DRI developers.
It’s time for the community to start funding the DRI. I don’t have thetime (or really, the motivation) to try and put something together, buthopefully, someone else will make an attempt to get some money into thehands of the people who have the ability to write and maintain Opendrivers.
The Direct Rendering Infrastructure projectdevelops 3D graphics drivers for XFree86 4.x; DRI alsolost one of its core full-timedevelopers, Gareth Hughes, earlier this summer whenVA Linux cancelled his contract (although it looks likeGareth still contributes to the projectin his free time).