In a message to the XFree86 Xpert mailing list, Egbert Eich
announced that chipmaker Trident is halting its practice of sharing
chipset documentation for X driver development:
From: Egbert Eich
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 13:34:54 +0200 (MEST)
Subject: Trident changes policy providing documentation to open source
We have just learned that Trident Microsystems, Inc. has changed
their policy of providing chipset documentation to open source
So far it was possible to obtain this under an NDA which allowed
us to publicly distribute our source code.
Starting with the CyberBladeXP chipset Trident does no longer
Therefore support for new Trident Chipsets will be very limited.
Their chipsets have been quite popular in portable systems like
notebooks and have been widely used as on-board chipsets in low
cost desktop computers.
For the CyberBladeXP this means that the chip is only supported
unaccelerated by the XFree86 Trident driver as the acceleration
functions are incompatible to those found in previous chipsets.
In the future we may not be able to support new Trident chipsets
If you would like to join our efforts to convince Trident to revise
this policy you may send email to:
However, Le T Nguyen, Trident's Product Marketing Vice
President, sent a message to the editors of this site, Eric
Raymond, Slashdot Editor Rob Malda, the webmaster at XFree86.org,
and Egbert Eich, saying nothing has changed in terms of the
company's relationship with open source projects. The letter
appears to indicate that while Trident will continue to require
developers to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), it will
continue to provide documentation to its chipsets:
"On behalf of Trident Microsystems, I would like to
state on the record that Trident has not changed our policy of
providing chipset documentation to open source projects. Trident
however continues to require an NDA to be signed in order to gain
access to such confidential technical information.
Please be advised accordingly."
Though the issue, if it ever existed, appears to be resolved,
LinuxToday will follow up if more information becomes available.