Ok, just so no one falls under the false impression that I'm lazy and don't want to do the footwork myself, I have gone through the following resources searching for any mention of this change and the newly (allegedly) required GD library:
Of course I started with the obvious sticky post:
The download page:
The Upgrade page (short):
The Upgrade page (long):
The system requirements page:
I even did a google search on the wp.org site for "GD Library" but that largely returned support inquiries:
I am getting nowhere. I have no idea what this library is, where I might get it, if it might in fact break something else (because it is not in fact recommended by WP), or if anyone from WP has any thoughts about the matter.
This is very frustrating. Though I have to admit it's not the only one my posts which is getting ignored here in these forums.
A little help would be appreciated.