This page provides the release criteria for GCC 4.8.
The GCC team (and, in particular, the Release Manager) will attempt to meet these criteria before the release of GCC 4.8.
In all cases, these criteria represent the minimum functionality required in order to make the release. If this level of minimum functionality is not provided by a release candidate, then that candidate will probably not become the eventual release. However, a release candidate that does meet these criteria may not necessarily become the official release; there may be other unforeseen issues that prevent release. For example, if support for the Intel Pentium II is required by the release criteria, it is nevertheless unlikely that GCC would be released even though it did not support the Intel Pentium.
Because the development of GCC is largely dependent on volunteers, the Release Manager and/or Steering Committee may eventually have to decide whether to make a release, even if the criteria here are not met. For example, if no volunteer can be found to verify correct operation of a particular application program on a particular system, then that criterion may be abandoned.
GCC supports several programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Fortran, and Java. For the purposes of making releases, however, we will consider primarily C and C++, as those are the languages used by the vast majority of users. Therefore, if, below, the criteria indicate, for example, that there should be no DejaGNU regressions on a particular platform, that criteria should be read as applying only to DejaGNU regressions within the C, C++, and C++ runtime library testsuites.
GCC targets a vast number of platforms. We have classified these platforms into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary platforms are popular systems, both in the sense that there are many such systems in existence and in the sense that GCC is used frequently on those systems. Secondary platforms are also popular systems, but are either somewhat less popular than the primary systems, or are considered duplicative from a testing perspective. All platforms that are neither primary nor secondary are tertiary platforms.
Our release criteria for primary platforms is:
All regressions open in Bugzilla have been analyzed, and all are deemed as either unlikely to affect most users, or are determined to have a minimal impact on affected users. For example, a typographical error in a diagnostic might be relatively common, but also has minimal impact on users.
In general, regressions where the compiler generates incorrect code, or refuses to compile a valid program, will be considered to be sufficiently severe to block the release, unless there are substantial mitigating factors.
Our release criteria for the secondary platforms is:
There are no release criteria for tertiary platforms.
In contrast to previous releases, we have removed all mention of explicit application testing. It is our experience that, with the resources available, it is very difficult to methodically carry out such testing. However, we expect that interested users will submit bug reports for problems encountered building and using popular packages. Therefore, we do not intend the elimination of application testing from our criteria to imply that we will not pay attention to application testing.
The primary platforms are:
The secondary platforms are:
In addition to correctness issues (e.g., generating incorrect code, or issuing an invalid diagnostic, or refusing to compile valid code), we will also consider code quality (i.e., the speed with which the generated code executes) and compilation time (i.e., the speed with which the compiler executes).
It is difficult, if not impossible, to set out specific criteria for determining what level of regression is acceptable for these issues. In contrast to most correctness issues, where nothing short of correct is acceptable, it is reasonable to trade off behavior for code quality and compilation time. For example, it may be acceptable, when compiling with optimization, if the compiler is slower, but generates superior code. It may also be acceptable for the compiler to generate inferior code on some test cases if it generates substantially superior code on other test cases. Therefore, the Release Manager, or parties to whom he or she delegates responsibility, will make determinations on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not a code quality or compilation time regression is sufficiently severe as to merit blocking the release.
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