We strongly encourage individuals as well as organizations to contribute to the development of GCC in the form of new features, new or improved optimizations, bug fixes, documentation updates, web page improvements, etc....
There are certain legal requirements and style issues which all contributions must meet:
Before we can incorporate significant contributions, certain legal requirements must be met.
The FSF prefers that a contributor files a copyright assignment for large contributions. See some documentation by the FSF for details and contact us (either via the firstname.lastname@example.org list or the GCC maintainer that is taking care of your contributions) to obtain the relevant forms. The most common forms are an assignment for a specific change, an assignment for all future changes, and an employer disclaimer, if an employer or school owns work created by the developer. It's a good idea to send email@example.com a copy of your request.
If a contributor is reluctant to sign a copyright assignment for a change, a copyright disclaimer to put the change in the public domain is acceptable as well. The copyright disclaimer form is different than an employer disclaimer form. A copyright assignment is more convenient if a contributor plans to make several separate contributions.
Small changes can be accepted without a copyright disclaimer or a copyright assignment on file.
All contributions must conform to the GNU Coding Standards. There are also some additional coding conventions for GCC; these include documentation and testsuite requirements as well as requirements on code formatting.
Submissions which do not conform to the standards will be returned with a request to address any such problems. To help with the preparation of patches you can use the script contrib/check_GNU_style.sh.
All patches must be thoroughly tested. We encourage you to test changes with as many host and target combinations as is practical. In addition to using real hardware, you can use simulators.
Much of GCC's code is used only by some targets, or used in quite
different ways by different targets. When choosing targets to test a
patch with, make sure that your selections exercise all aspects of the
code you are changing. For instance, a change to conditional branch
handling should be tested both with targets that use
and targets that don't.
You will of course have tested that your change does what you expected it to do: fix a bug, improve an optimization, add a new feature. Where possible you should automate these tests and add them to GCC's testsuite. You must also perform regression tests to ensure that your patch does not break anything else. Typically, this means comparing post-patch test results to pre-patch results by testing twice or comparing with recent posts to the gcc-testresults list.
If your change is to code that is not in a front end, or is to the C or C++ front ends, you must perform a complete build of GCC and the runtime libraries included with it, on at least one target. You must bootstrap all default languages, not just C and C++, and run all testsuites. For a normal native configuration, running
make bootstrap make -k check
from the top level of the GCC tree (not the
gcc subdirectory) will accomplish this.
If your change is to a front end other than the C or C++ front end,
or a runtime library other than
libgcc, you need to verify
only that the runtime library for that language still builds and the
tests for that language have not regressed. (Most languages have
tests stored both in the
gcc subdirectory, and in the
directory for the runtime library.) You need not bootstrap, or test
other languages, since there is no way you could have affected
Since the Ada front end is written in Ada, if you change it you must perform a complete bootstrap; however, running other language testsuites is not necessary.
In all cases you must test exactly the change that you intend to submit; it's not good enough to test an earlier variant. The tree where you perform this test should not have any other changes applied to it. Include all your new testcases in your testsuite run.
Documentation changes do not require a new bootstrap (a working
bootstrap is necessary to get the build environment correct), but you
make info and
make dvi and correct
and errors. You should investigate complaints about overfull or
underfull hboxes from
make dvi, as these can be the only
indication of serious markup problems, but do not feel obliged to
eliminate them all.
Changes to the web site must validate as HTML 5. To validate your changes, use the "upload file" mode of the validator.
Please mark patches with the tag [wwwdocs] in the subject line.
More about our web pages.
Every patch must have several pieces of information, before we can properly evaluate it:
svn commitmachinery understands how to extract this information and automatically append the commit log to the PR. In order to be recognized, the text must fit a particular form. It must start with "PR", and then must include the category and PR number. For instance,
PR java/2369is valid. Multiple PRs can be mentioned in a single message.
-up" or "
-cp" options. See SVN setup instructions for more details.
Don't mix together changes made for different reasons. Send them individually. Ideally, each change you send should be impossible to subdivide into parts that we might want to consider separately, because each of its parts gets its motivation from the other parts. In particular, changes to code formatting to conform to coding standards are best not mixed with substantive changes, because that makes it difficult to see what the real changes are. (In the case of a very large reorganization of code, it may make sense to separate changes even further to make it clearer what has changed; for example, by first sending structural changes that make subsequent changes easier but do not change GCC's behavior, then new code, then the changes that actually make use of the new code and change GCC's behavior.)
We prefer patches posted as plain text or as MIME parts of type
inline, encoded as
It is strongly discouraged to post patches as MIME parts of type
attachment or encoded as
quoted-printable. Avoid MIME large-message splitting
message/partial) at all costs.
If the patch is too big or too mechanical, posting it gzipped or
bzip2ed and uuencoded or encoded as a
base64 MIME part is
acceptable, as long as the ChangeLog is still posted as plain text.
When you have all these pieces, bundle them up in a mail message and send it to the appropriate mailing list(s). (Patches will go to one or more lists depending on what you are changing.) For further information on the GCC SVN repository, see the Anonymous read-only SVN access and Read-write SVN access pages.
(Everything listed here still applies if you can check in the patch without further approval under the GCC write access policies, except that ChangeLog entries may be included as part of the patch and diffs representing new files may be omitted, especially if large, since they can be accessed directly from the repository.)
If you do not receive a response to a patch that you have submitted within two weeks or so, it may be a good idea to chase it by sending a follow-up email to the same list(s). Patches can occasionally fall through the cracks. Please be sure to include a brief summary of the patch and the URL of the entry in the mailing list archive of the original submission.
If you do not have write access and a patch of yours has been approved, but not committed, please advise the approver of that fact. You may want to point out lack of write access in your initial submission, too.
Everything that requires a user to edit his Makefiles or his source code is a good candidate for being mentioned in the release notes.
Larger accomplishments, either as part of a specific project, or long term commitment, merit mention on the front page. Examples include projects like tree-ssa, new back ends, major advances in optimization or standards compliance.
The gcc-announce mailing list serves to announce new releases and changes like front ends or back ends being dropped.
Copyright (C) Free Software Foundation, Inc. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.