AMD has been trying hard the past few months to get more interest in the Radeon line. They've especially been reaching out to the Linux community. On top of promising to vastly improve the Linux driver, they also released the register specifications for their R500 and R600 series GPUs.

That information is a boon to all third parties developing drivers for AMD hardware, and now one of the first drivers as a result of this spec being released has surfaced. Novell has been developing the driver, and intends to keep the driver open for anyone to use.

The driver is just an alpha it stands now - not really suitable for day to day use. However, it's still exciting - for the longest time, ATI's drivers, both on the Windows and Linux side, have held a reputation of being shoddy in comparison to Nvidia. I don't think AMD should be relying on third parties to create drivers for them, but this does show a considerable change in attitude and policy regarding their hardware. I hope this continues.