GIMP 2.6.12 is a bug-fix release in the stable GIMP 2.6 series. Its purpose is mostly to wrap up all fixes that have piled up since 2.6.11 into a last release in the stable 2.6 series before we switch to 2.8. Please have a look at the NEWS file for a detailed list of changes.
Just like you, we want to see v2.8 out in the wild as soon as possible, but there’s still a number of regressions that block this important release.
On a lighter note, v2.8 is going to have an updated default set of brushes for painting and a set of tools presets (new feature in 2.8). The work was done by Ramón Miranda (GIMP Paint Studio project) and Guillermo Espertino.
Meanwhile there is a considerable progress with the GPU-side rendering project we announced in November. Victor Oliveira has brought OpenCL support on GEGL to a level where GIMP can load an image to a GPU and process it there with a brightness-contrast operation. This is only the beginning, but it opens quite a few possibilities.
We also maintain a rather active Google+ page where we post various project related news, links to impressive work done with GIMP and so on.