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Re: Set FORCE_SOURCE_DATE=1 by default

From: Vagrant Cascadian
Subject: Re: Set FORCE_SOURCE_DATE=1 by default
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 23:08:05 -0700

On 2022-06-21, Maxim Cournoyer wrote:
> Vagrant Cascadian <> writes:
>> So, guix sets SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH=1 by default in
>> guix/build/gnu-build-system.scm, which is great!
>> This allows guix packages in many cases to build packages reproducibly,
>> with a curious side-effect that takes us all back to the early 70s in
>> some corner-cases (or even late 60s, dependent on timezone).
>> That said, some projects (such as texlive) might be worried about
>> messing with time too much (I get it, lots of cautionary sci-fi
>> stories!), and so you *also* need FORCE_SOURCE_DATE=1 to be set in order
>> to respect SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH.
> That seems ridiculous.  Has anyone tried getting in touch with them to
> get their arguments about why inventing another variable that means the
> same thing was necessary?

Yes, there were some fairly long threads about it and I have little hope
that revisiting it would change much; it was originally implemented as a
texlive specific variable, which was changed to the FORCE_SOURCE_DATE
variable to at least avoid the danger of every project inventing their
own name-brand variables...

> I'd much prefer challenging that stance than "endorsing" it in Guix :-).
> I think it'd be OK to reluctantly add it in as a stop-gap fix in Guix,
> but *only* after opening an issue to discuss it upstream and linking to
> that issue in Guix.

I get it. I really do. It kind of grates at me every time I think about

I know it really is not great and seems quite suboptimal to me, but I
don't personally think rehashing the arguments will be a productive use
of time for anyone...

I think the pragmatism of making more packages reproducible by conceding
to set FORCE_SOURCE_DATE is the appropriate way forward; I agree it
feels silly or even maybe would go so far as to say a bit "wrong".

If someone wanted to make yet another environment variable, that would
seem a line in the sand worth drawing...

live well,

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