VIA appoints Harald Welte as open source liason
VIA has contracted Harald Welte to be the company's open source liaison. VIA has had a chequered past in working with the open source community. The appointment of Welte, with his background in projects like OpenMoko and netfilter/iptables, does indicate that that VIA is aiming to bring their open source activities back on course.
The Free Software Foundation gave Welte the 2007 Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work on the gpl-violations.org site, raising awareness of the GPL. Welte said "I look forward to working with the company's management and R&D teams to make sure that they not only better understand the needs of developers but that they also build a productive and high quality relationship with the community."
VIA specialise in power efficent x86 processors and their associated chipsets, graphics and networking. Open source driver development for hardware like this is often fraught, with a tension between the open source community's desire to have access to specifications without an NDA and the hardware vendors desire to retain trade secrets.
VIA's current open source site currently contains only two stable binary drivers and the source for some framebuffer code.