Today, VIA made public what I've already been doing behind the scenes for some time: I've been contracted and appointed to be VIA's Open Source Liaison. As first part of the process, they've released the Padlock programming guide and the CX700/VX700 integrated north+southbridge manuals on linux.via.com.tw.
This basically means that I'll be helping VIA with improving their strategy for Open Source support, such as Open Source driver support, merging those drivers into the respective mainline projects as well as working on publicly available reference documentation for their hardware.
This is an incredible chance to contribute my part to help a major manufacturer of CPU, Chipset, Ethernet, WiFi, Card Reader and PC Graphics components understand what it takes to interact properly with the Free Software community. This is a big learning experience for VIA, and a teaching experience on my part, of course. I feel very happy to be able to work in such a key position, and to be able to put all my knowledge about Linux driver development, the development process, the FOSS community values/ethics/practises as well as licensing related knowledge at work.
VIA is truly interested to learn, and they're already doing a lot internally which you might not have been aware about. I am well aware of many of the historic problems between VIA and the community, related to binary only drivers, not cooperating with mainline development, suboptimal press announcements with little action, etc.
I'm very confident that together we can move beyond this and take a fresh start for much better FOSS support of VIA products. Of course the change will not come overnight. It's a process, and it involves many groups in a large company, each group with their own management, R&D and so on. So please bear with us, and don't expect all drivers to be finished in mainline quality tomorrow.
If you are a Free Software developer and you have some comment/feedback/demand to via, please feel free to contact me (preferably at HaraldWelte@viatech.com. I will try my best to follow-up with all those comments. If you are missing some piece of documentation for hardware or have some other issue, please let me know. I do care, and I will take up the issue with VIA's management.