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Possible transition to GCC 4.1 for etch

Martin Michlmayr has posted an announcement regarding moving to GCC 4.1 for etch.
There have been a number of discussions about moving to GCC 4.1 for
etch. GCC 4.1 is considered superior to 4.0, in general and
particularly on hppa (architecture specific ABI changes in 4.0) and
m68k (many compiler errors are fixed in 4.1). Unfortunately, GCC 4.1
is much stricter than 4.0 (in particular regarding C++) code. In
March, I compiled the entire archive with GCC 4.1 and found roughly
280 bugs in packages due to the increased standard conformance of GCC
4.1 [1].

Now, about two months later, roughly half of them have been fixed. I
recently talked to the release team about the possibility of moving to
GCC 4.1 as the default compiler (at least on some architectures) on
etch. Obviously, this can only happen if those packages are fixed to
compile with GCC 4.1, otherwise we would have a lot of RC bugs. The
release team has now said that they will consider GCC 4.1 for etch if
the majority of outstanding 4.1 specific bugs are fixed by the mid of
June [2].

I think that we can make this happen and I'd like to organized
coordinated NMUs. The release managers have said that as of now the
0-day NMU policy also applies to build failures with GCC 4.1. Even
though NMUs are possible already, I suggest the following approach:

– now – Sun, May 28: maintainers fix their packages so they build
with GCC 4.1: bugs have been already been filed (and many include
patches). In this period, other interested people generate and
submit patches for those bugs which do not include one yet.
– Mon, May 29 – Mon, May 12: 2 weeks of coordinated NMUs. Please
email me privately if you're interested in helping out.
– Mon, May 12 – Thu, May 15: recompilation of the whole archive with
GCC 4.1 on several architecture to identify unresolved issues.
– Thu, May 15: send a report to the release team

I have filed the following meta bug to keep track of GCC 4.1 build
failures in packages: #366820

Obviously, fixing those bugs is only a prerequisite and not a
guarantee for GCC 4.1 as the default for etch. However, these bugs
need to be fixed anyway. Also, we need to decide in the meantime
which architectures can move to GCC 4.1 as the default. Porters,
please review Matthias Klose's message and check for ABI and other
issues [3]. Matthias will soon post a new status report to

In summary, there are ~140 bugs that need to be fixed in the next few
weeks. If you're the maintainer of a package that does not build with
GCC 4.1, please investigate this issue. If you're interested in this
transition, please consider submitting bugs and doing NMUs.

— Martin Michlmayr

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