The Tyrrany of Commercial Firmwares
I have had my PS3 for almost a year now. and I've rarely had time to use it. Now that I finally do, I find that it's already outdated: the 1.92 firmware won't allow me to log on to the Playstation Store at all.
I would have upgraded the firmware without a second thought if it weren't for the "RSX issue". In firmwares prior to 2.10, the hypervisor contains a vulnerability which allows the operating system to access the nVidia G70-based GPU. My primary goal for bying the PS3 was to code multicore programs and playing with graphics, so I have some incentive to retain GPU access. Of course, downgrading firmwares isn't possible unless I buy a modchip, and this one is near impossible to solder.
However, even if I keep the RSX hole open by not upgrading the firmware, there's actually no OpenGL implementation that will work with the GPU. The closest thing is the Nouveau driver, but that's a long way off, and nobody appears to be working on the PS3-specific parts. I'm guessing that if anything will materialize from this, it will be far into the future.
All hope is not lost, however. There's a Cell-based driver for Mesa under development by Tungsten Graphics and friends. They claim to want full GLSL support eventually, but that will take a lot of time and effort.
I'll delay the firmware update for a few more days, and check if there are any opportunities I've overlooked. There's something fundamentally upsetting by being at the mercy of big corporations. I bought the box. I want to use it for writing my own programs. Why should that be such a crime?