(do I need now binary blobs for AMD graphics or not?)
The whole point of AMDGPU is to simplify the situation.
Now the only difference between catalyst and radeon drivers is the 3d acceleration - either run a proprietary binary opengl, or run mesa Gallium3D.
All the rest of the stack downward from this point is opensource: same kernel module, same library, etc.
Switching between prorietary and opensource driver will be just choosing which opengl implementation to run.
I decided (I don't need gaming performance) that Intel with its integrated graphics seems the best bet at the moment.
If you don't need performance, radeon works pretty well too.
Radeon have an opensource driver. It works best for a little bit older cards. Usually the latest gen cards lag a bit (driver is released after a delay, performance isn't as good as binary) (though AMD is working to reduce the delay).
Like Intel, the opensource driver is also supported by AMD (they have opensource developpers on their payroll for that), although compared to Intel, AMD's opensource driver team is a bit understaffed.
AMD's official policy is also to only support the latest few cards generation in their proprietary drivers. For older cards, the opensource *are* the official drivers.
(Usually by the time support is dropped out of catalyst, the opensource driver has caught up enough with performance to be a really good alternative).
The direction toward which AMD is moving with AMDGPU is even more reinforcing this approach:
- the stack is completely opensource at the bottom
- for older cards, stick with Gallium3D/mesa
- for newer cards, you can swap out the top opengl part with catalyst, and keep the rest of the stack the same.
- for cards in between it's up to you to make your choice between opensource or high performance.
If you look overall, the general tendency is toward more opensource at AMD.
- stack has moved toward having more opensource components, even if you choose catalyst.
- behind the scene AMD is doing efforts to make future cards more opensource friendly and be able to release faster the necessary code and documentation.
AMD: you can stuff your "high performance proprietary driver" up any cavity of your choosing. I'll buy things from you again when you have a clear pro-free software strategy again -- if you're around by then at all.
I don't know what you don't find clear, in their strategy.
They've always officially support opensource: they release documentation, code, and have a few developpers on their pay roll.
Open-source has always been the official solution for older cards.
Catalyst has always been the solution for latest cards which don't have opensource drivers yet, or if you want to max out performance or latest opengl 4.x
And if anything, they're moving more toward opensource: merging the to to rely more on opensource base component, to avoid duplication of development efforts,
and finding ways to be faster with opensource on newer generations.
For me that's good enough, that why I usually go with radeon when I have the choice (desktop PC that I build myself) , and I'm happy with the results.