GCC 12 Moves On To Fixing Bugs - Now In "Stage 3" Development

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 16 November 2021 at 04:37 AM EST. Add A Comment
As expected GCC 12 has now entered its "stage 3" development phase where the free software developers involved will focus on bug fixing rather than landing shiny new features.

SUSE's Richard Biener announced on Monday that the GCC development branch is now focused on general bug-fixing. At the moment there are around 34 P1 regressions (bugs of the highest priority) followed by 306 at the P2 level, and around 237 P3 regressions. Those bugs need to be worked out or demoted before GCC 12.1 will ultimately be released next year.

Stage three for GCC is a roughly two month period focused on bug fixing while generally refraining from introducing new feature code -- although there are exceptions made where new feature work does sometimes land if it doesn't risk regressing the compiler. After that is when stage four happens with an exclusive focus on regression fixing until release. Though like earlier this year the AMD Zen 3 "znver3" improvements still landed very late in the cycle, weeks before the GCC 11.1 release.

Among the changes coming in GCC 12 are initial Armv9-A support ans the likes of the Cortex-A710 target, RISC-V improvements like the Bitmanip extension, updated Alder Lake tuning, auto-vectorization for the -O2 optimization level, AVX-512 FP16 support, stack variable auto-initialization, static analyzer improvements, #elifdef and #elifndev directives, and much more.

If all goes well and based on the usual timing, GCC 12.1 as the first stable GCC 12 compiler release should debut around April. If traditions hold, Fedora 36 will likely be the first major distribution in the spring using GCC 12 as the default system compiler. Meanwhile the likes of Ubuntu won't see GCC 12 until their 22.10 release in the autumn.
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