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bug#27563: [PATCH v3 2/2] gnu: ghostscript: Write document ID only when

From: Leo Famulari
Subject: bug#27563: [PATCH v3 2/2] gnu: ghostscript: Write document ID only when encrypting.
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 13:24:07 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.3 (2017-05-23)

On Fri, Jul 07, 2017 at 06:42:25PM +0200, Danny Milosavljevic wrote:
> Leo Famulari <address@hidden> wrote:
> > > That leaves the document UUID - and upstream, in some of the other
> > I think the lowest risk is to do nothing to Ghostscript and move the PDF
> > documentation to a separate 'doc' output. Then, we could have
> > reproducible binaries and ignore the PDF issues for now. Does anyone
> > know how many packages include PDF documentation built with Ghostscript?
> Aren't the derivations of the doc outputs still a problem?  For
> example, Hydra will run out of space sooner or later because it keeps
> building them, right?

Do these timestamps and UUID affect the derivations? I figured they only
affected the result of running the derivation — that is, the output of
the build process. Those outputs are what we'd like to create
reproducibly, but they don't cause rebuilds if they are not

If a package's dependency graph is identical to before, Guix (and I
assume Hydra) will not rebuild it, even if we humans know that the built
output is unreproducible, such as when timestamps are embedded.

My apologies if I misinterpreted your question.

We run out of space and have to garbage collect periodically anyways.
Regardless, once we own the Hydra machine, I'd like for us to buy a huge
amount of storage and keep built outputs for much longer than we do now.
In practice, it's not really possible to go back in time more than 6
months of Guix, due to missing upstream sources and test suites with
expiration dates.

> > 2) At least some of the patches in the related Ghostscript discussions
> > seem to be proof of concepts rather than finished code:
> > https://bugs.ghostscript.com/show_bug.cgi?id=697484#c3
> > So, if these patches came from there, we'd want to be extra careful.
> No, I wrote the ones here without external sources (except for the
> direct discussion on my newish upstream bug report, and the PDF and
> XMP specifications - whatever worth they have).

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

> > By the way, this is the patch used for Debian's latest Ghostscript
> > package:
> > 
> > https://anonscm.debian.org/git/printing/ghostscript.git/tree/debian/patches/2010_add_build_timestamp_setting.patch?id=e2bf3ad7026afe13636d4937430c3fdae7854078
> > 
> > That patch was not reviewed on a public forum, at least nothing I can
> > find with Google. Again, I'd want to get the Ghostscript team's advice.
> On such an approach they advised that we should only generate *unique*
> UUIDs.  But the UUIDs are generated from these times.  So that linked
> patch would generate multiple non-unique uuids on systems.
> That's why I removed the entire UUID and Time sections and actually
> didn't fiddle with the ghostscript-internal times at all.  Builds
> reproducibly.
> I wonder how many packages actually use the ghostscript pdf writer
> too.  How to find that out?
> Note that groff itself also fails to build reproducibly without the
> patches.
> In any case, the patch 2/2 is quite tame (it looks scary because of
> the printf splitting, but it's actually just either leaving "/ID[...]"
> off or not, globally).
> But I understand that it would be even easier to do nothing.  Wouldn't
> make the stuff reproducible, though.
> I'd vote for an environment variable to disable UUID printing and also
> Time header printing.  That way it would do everything normally in
> regular usage - but when used in packages, it would just not *print*
> the problematic stuff.  No internal state is changed at all by the
> patches.

Okay, thank you for explaining this (especially if you already explained
it! It's hard to join a conversation like this halfway through). I'll
read your patches carefully later today.

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