<FLAME MODE: ON>
Dear AMD, I am an indie-game developer, who has had a long time association with some prominant projects that use OpenGL.
I also use a lot of OpenGL-based software as part of my content workflow.
I'd heard all the horror stories from my fellow developers about OpenGL problems with AMD/ATi GPUs, and I'd had to spend considerable time debugging GLSL routines to meet your much-more-finicky engineering requirements (I can show you 20+ examples of one piece of GLSL that compiled and operated on nVidia's hardware / driver platform, but failed to operate, if you want to see some embarassing proof).
I've registered here soley to FLAME you folks, and hopefully stir up some serious action.
I have never had to deal with this level of sheer hassle before, and I'm never going to buy one of your GPUs again for a dev-box.
I just 'upgraded' your Catalyst drivers from 10.3 to 10.6, hoping that would mean I saw the dreaded "VPU Recover" feature come up less frequently with several OpenGL-based tools I am using.
Instead, due to your wonderful QA, it broke UVMapper Pro in XP Pro 32bit, whose code has probably been essentially stable for years and surely isn't using any modern extensions (uvmapper.com if you wish to see Catalyst 10.6 and this app, although I honestly suggest you contact Steve Cox about it to see if he'll show you the source), to the point it couldn't even operate. It crashed on startup.
Now, if I was a normal user, I'd probably be SOL, because I might not even know I could roll back the drivers. And if I was a normal user, I'd maybe assume that it was the application's fault. I'm a developer, though, so I know that's *****. It's your driver engineering team's lack of proper QA and apparent indifference about OpenGL that's at fault.
So I've gone from having to see the VPU "recovery" due to your drivers crashing to losing one of my tools, until I finish rolling back your stuff and make everything stable again.
Somebody way up your engineering foodchain needs to read this, and GET THIS. You guys keep breaking OpenGL compatibility, and it sucks, and it's seriously detrimental to the attitude of developers towards your products, especially in the Linux and Open Source communities.
This is a core business problem. How can I possibly recommend somebody uses a product based on OpenGL without lots of caveats about, "if you buy AMD/ATI, you may be wasting your money?"
There are countless games and other products built with OpenGL on a regular basis, due to all of the nice toolkits and SDKs that are available. And OpenGL is the main graphics system for most of the Open Source side of the fence.
This is sad and embarassing from one of the top-tier houses of advanced computer science. OpenGL isn't dead, it isn't marginal, and it should not be neglected or routinely broken by your engineers. Whoever it is who has the lousy job of reading this stuff... pass this to your superiors, pronto. I will be happy to show them the GLSL example in private, and put them in touch with other people who can also demonstrate what is pretty darn obvious to everybody but AMD.