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Re: Timestamps in ...-autoloads.el files

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Timestamps in ...-autoloads.el files
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 21:38:04 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Alex Kost <address@hidden> skribis:

> Ludovic Courtès (2015-10-20 02:09 +0300) wrote:
>> If we diff as explained in the doc below, we see that the Git
>> discrepancies are due to timestamp in Perl’s POD files as well as
>> sorted-by-inode-number ‘tclIndex’ files.  For the Emacs modes, the
>> problem is the autogenerated autoloads files, which include some sort of
>> a timestamp as well.
>> You’re welcome to help fix these issues!
> Thanks for the info!
> Those timestamps are inserted by `autoload-insert-section-header' and
> we can avoid them by advising this function, for example, like this:
> (defun guix-autoload-no-timestamp (fun outbuf autoloads load-name file time)
>   (funcall fun outbuf autoloads load-name file 0))
> (advice-add 'autoload-insert-section-header
>             :around 'guix-autoload-no-timestamp)
> So after putting this code into ‘emacs-generate-autoloads’ procedure
> from (guix build emacs-utils) module, there will be zeros instead of
> non-deterministic timestamps.


> However this will fix only those packages, that use
> ‘emacs-generate-autoloads’ directly or via ‘emacs-build-system’.  But
> there are also packages that generate autoloads on their own (for
> example, 'emacs-w3m' or 'guix' itself).  What to do for these ones?
> Perhaps we can make a special 'emacs-build' package (that will advise
> ‘autoload-insert-section-header’ function somehow) and use it as an
> input for emacs-packages, or are there other ways?

What about patching Emacs directly?

An upstreamable patch would be one that honors the ‘SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH’

Alternately, a patch that simply changes
‘autoload-insert-section-header’ to always use zero as the timestamp
would work as well, unless this would somehow break functionality.


Thanks for looking into it,


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