Recently I reported that GCC 4.8 was nearing the end of stage one development -- the period during which features and new development work can be merged -- and will be moving to stage three. As of this morning, GCC 4.8 / the trunk code-base is now into this next stage where only bug-fixes and new ports not requiring changes to other parts of the compiler can be made. New functionality/features are not allowed during this period that will last for approximately two months until the official release happens.
Jakub Jelinek announced this morning on the GCC mailing list that stage one is over and stage three is in effect immediately. "The GCC trunk is now in stage3, patches submitted during stage1 may be still accepted, if they don't need significant rewrites, but please try to get them in soon. There is a lot of them outstanding, so please also help reviewing them."
The plan is to have GCC 4.8 released by March/April, almost exactly one year after the GCC 4.7 release when this Free Software Foundation compiler turned 25 years old. Key features of GCC 4.8 are covered in this article.
Meanwhile, there's still talk of releasing the GCC 5.0 compiler. Aside from the reasons mentioned yesterday for tagging "GCC 5.0" based upon merging the Local Register Allocator (LRA) and converting the code-base to C++, another expressed reason is over the improved diagnostics / error reporting in GCC 4.8. To better compete with LLVM/Clang's more ellaborate reporting of errors, GCC 4.8 diagnostics has support for macro expansion, caret diagnostics, and other details. We'll see what happens.