After a short period of time I got the following automated response:
The Linux drivers available from ATI are provide are "as is".
You may be able to get further assistance from the Linux community
at the links below:
To report issues with Linux drivers you can submit an online ticket using
the "Linux Driver Feedback" Category, and your report will be
received and reviewed/tested by our driver team. Please note that your report
will only be responded to if we require additional information.
Not that I had high expectations about seeing these problems fixed anytime soon, but why make me fill a support ticket if they don't support my platform of choice at all? My reply:
First, thanks for the prompt response. I understand the fact the driver is provided "as is", so ATI/AMD doesn't feel obliged to help me with its driver's problem(s). What I don't understand is why, instead of just stamping out clearly that Linux drivers aren't supported, I had to spend time filling a ticket and describing the problem to get such unuseful answer with three barely related links, while alerting me when I selected "Linux" as the operating system would be much more straightforward and honest.
I understand my ticket will not get a satisfying solution (to me) by ATI/AMD, but nevertheless I still feel the need to remember you that "Customer Care" usually means "caring about customers", and even if I didn't expect to have the problem I reported fixed anytime soon, I at least had hope a Linux driver developer would be notified about it, and maybe I could help him somehow, giving more feedback or anything suitable, as I was able to do with other vendors (NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner and Intel's Keith Packard). Please don't take that as if I'm trying to teach you how to do your work or how ATI/AMD should do business (I'm not), I'm just telling you what I expected from a Company like ATI/AMD, based on experiences I had with other vendors. That said, I recently bought a graphics card with an ATI chipset (3650, 1GB DDR2 RAM) because of a perceived (and widely advertised in the media) openness of your company towards Linux (my platform of choice). Had I but known of this lack of both support and developer interaction beforehand I would surely choose another vendor.
I would like to ask ATI/AMD to change its support/customer care website to reflect more precisely its policy about (nonexistent) Linux support, so no time would be spent by someone like me who tried to ask for help and at the same time tried to help ATI/AMD to improve its products.
ATI/AMD is a big Corporation, as NVIDIA and Intel are, but its corporate culture makes the interaction between outsiders and developers much harder to achieve. I've heard nothing from Mr. Matthew Tippett (AMD's Linux Core Engineering Manager) since June 01, 2007, and AMD's forum has scarce information about fglrx problems (it doesn't even have any Linux-specific category).
Linux stays advancing at a fast pace in the market and is being used more and more. Advanced desktop effects are becoming the norm, and stable, full-featured graphics drivers are essential to make it reality to more people. Some days ago we've seen NVIDIA mention a bugfix for KDE in its drivers!
Please AMD, interact more with your customers. Create proper channels of communication and improve the ones who already exist. Accept and welcome feedback from those who care. Let users take a more active participation in making AMD/ATI products better. Listen to us. Talk to us.