The current release of MySQL Cluster 7.0 is based on MySQL Server 5.1.34, normally we update the MySQL Server version as soon as a new one has been released. That is an almost automated process since it's just another branch in bazaar - ie "bzr pull", resolve any conflicts and commit.
The cluster team mainly work with the files in storage/ndb/ where the source for ndbd, ndb_mgmd and all the ndb_* tools for working with MySQL Cluster is kept. We have also produced improvements to the MySQL Server itself. While most of them have been merged back up - either to 5.1 or 6.0 - some hasn't. This means that when someone touch an are that has been improved we get a few conflicts when merging down the latest MySQL Server version. Fortunately that is quite rare now when 5.1 is GA.
Some of the improvements are generic and simply improves MySQL Server's portability, while some are specific and useful only for ha_ndbcluster(the MySQL Cluster handler). The intention has always been to merge the improvements back into an upcoming release of MySQL Server, unfortunately that has been rare lately.
That's why I started to examine the differences between 5.1.34 and latest 7.0 and produced a patch. Currently the unified diff is 11207 lines(not that much) and diffstat shows 77 files changed with 4082 insertions and 1868 deletions. Note that this does not include anything from storage/ndb. My plan is to split that big patch into a series of smaller patches so it get manageable, can be described what they do and we can determine which parts have been merged back and which hasn't. I have also spotted a few changes that we're just going to revert since they simply change formatting or "my_bool->bool".
Will get back with more detailed information what the improvements are when after the patch has been split up.
In the long run, this will make it possible to take any version of MySQL Server, copy in the latest from storage/ndb/, compile and have a MySQL Server that works with MySQL Cluster. There are of course more changes required to make sure that everything that is part of MySQL Cluster is kept in storage/ndb and some of them are already in the works for the next version. For example moving all the ndb_ system variables away from mysqld.cc and into ha_ndbcluster.cc.
You can view the full patch with diffstat here