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Re: GitLab to plans to delete dormant projects

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: GitLab to plans to delete dormant projects
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2022 18:41:56 +0200


I guess, Gitlab means the instance, right?

On sam., 06 août 2022 at 09:08, Olivier Dion via "Development of GNU Guix and 
the GNU System distribution." <> wrote:

> Many packages origin in Guix use an url to a GitLab project.  What are
> the consequence of such deletion on Guix reproducibility?  Will it
> affects the time-machine?

As explained by others, thanks to Software Heritage, the time-machine
should not be impacted when would stop to serve some source.

First, Guix is able to automatically fallback to SWH when upstream
source are unavailable.  Considering substitutes is turned on, fetching
respects this order:

 1. try with Guix build farms
 2. try upstream defined by origin
 3. try SWH
 4. try other “webarchives“

Second, the coverage by SWH depends on the kind of origin (url-fetch,
git-fetch, etc.) because it is not the same entry point (for SWH).

On a side note, SWH ingests many forges using what they call a ‘loader’
[1].  For example, their Git loader ingests an instance of a Gitlab
forge, e.g.,; but many others too as or or etc.

It exists a (rudimentary) ‘nixguix’ loader [2]. ;-)  This loader reads
the file ’sources.json’ [3] and then SWH ingests all the tarball

Moreover, “guix lint -c archival” allows to send a save request to SWH
but this request is only for Git origin.

In summary, it is highly probable that the source code is in SWH.

Third, the issue: being able to later fetch back from SWH using the
(meta-)information we have now.  Other said, the fallback requires an
unique identifier.  The net: this identifier needs to be compatible with
SWH, which provides their own–named swh-id.

The Git commit hash is compatible.  But the checksum is not.  That’s why
the Guix project currently maintains a map (named Disarchive) from the
checksum to swh-id allowing to rebuild the expected source code from the
data stored in SWH.

Well, many Guix packages use a string Git tag for referring.  It can
lead to issues, as in-place replacements.  SWH regularly crawls, ingests
and build “snapshots” (history of history) but there is no guarantee
that the Guix origin is well-covered – aside Guix is currently not able
to manage these snapshots. :-)

And today, the main weakness is about Subversion or CVS.  Some packages
– deep in the dependency graph – are svn-fetch or cvs-fetch.  And there
is no robust fallback mechanism, AFAIK.

In summary, the time-machine may or may not work.  The main factor when
it fails is about the availability of the substitute (from Guix build
farm).  Other said, older the time-machine jump is, and higher the
probability of the failure becomes.

Back to  Using Guix 8f0d45c from July, 18th let “guix repl”;
code attached below.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
$ guix repl
GNU Guile 3.0.8
Copyright (C) 1995-2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Guile comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `,show w'.
This program is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `,show c' for details.

Enter `,help' for help.
scheme@(guix-user)> (load "from-gitlab-dot-com.scm")
scheme@(guix-user)> (length
$1 = 223

scheme@(guix-user)> (length
$2 = 213

scheme@(guix-user)> ,pp
$3 = (#<package tint2@0.14.6 gnu/packages/xdisorg.scm:1845 7f21cf29d000>
 #<package surfraw@2.3.0 gnu/packages/web.scm:5600 7f21cdf99370>
 #<package python-dogtail@0.9.11 gnu/packages/python-xyz.scm:2777 7f21cd2cba50>
 #<package ecl-cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package sbcl-cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package iucode-tool@2.3.1 gnu/packages/linux.scm:4476 7f21cd59fc60>
 #<package graphviz@2.49.0 gnu/packages/graphviz.scm:67 7f21cd286000>
 #<package fulcrum@1.1.1 gnu/packages/finance.scm:1712 7f21cd2a5e70>
 #<package flowee@2020.04.1 gnu/packages/finance.scm:1747 7f21cd2a5dc0>)

scheme@(guix-user)> ,pp
$4 = (#<package jucipp@1.7.1 gnu/packages/text-editors.scm:309 7f21d204f580>
 #<package emilua@0.3.2 gnu/packages/lua.scm:1122 7f21cd3d7bb0>)
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

It means that the string ““ appears in the origin of 223
packages and 213 of those are git-fetch.  Others said, 10 packages are
using url-fetch with tarballs generated by

Only 2 packages are recursive git-reference, therefore badly covered.
Guix is currently not able to fully save them in SWH.  Moreover, fetch
back the data from SWH works but the not the resulting checksum; which
defeats the fallback.  See <>.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
scheme@(guix-user)> (length archived-packages-on-swh)
$5 = 202

scheme@(guix-user)> ,pp missing-packages
$6 = (#<package tint2@0.14.6 gnu/packages/xdisorg.scm:1845 7f21cf29d000>
 #<package surfraw@2.3.0 gnu/packages/web.scm:5600 7f21cdf99370>
 #<package remmina@1.4.23 gnu/packages/vnc.scm:62 7f21d1ed1d10>
 #<package libsequoia@0.22.0 gnu/packages/sequoia.scm:418 7f21ce25ea50>
 #<package zn-poly@0.9.2 gnu/packages/sagemath.scm:227 7f21d1f7f370>
 #<package ecl-cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package sbcl-cl-utilities@0.0.0-1.dce2d2f gnu/packages/lisp-xyz.scm:4454 
 #<package openrgb@0.7 gnu/packages/hardware.scm:982 7f21cef46f20>
 #<package guile-ac-d-bus@1.0.0-beta.0 gnu/packages/guile-xyz.scm:3796 
 #<package guile-goblins@0.8 gnu/packages/guile-xyz.scm:5105 7f21d858d8f0>
 #<package graphviz@2.49.0 gnu/packages/graphviz.scm:67 7f21cd286000>
 #<package komikku@0.39.0 gnu/packages/gnome.scm:12346 7f21ce037420>
 #<package bitcoin-unlimited@ gnu/packages/finance.scm:1640 
 #<package fulcrum@1.1.1 gnu/packages/finance.scm:1712 7f21cd2a5e70>
 #<package flowee@2020.04.1 gnu/packages/finance.scm:1747 7f21cd2a5dc0>
 #<package kicad@6.0.6 gnu/packages/engineering.scm:946 7f21d20b6000>
 #<package kicad-footprints@6.0.6 gnu/packages/engineering.scm:1114 
 #<package kicad-symbols@6.0.6 gnu/packages/engineering.scm:1086 7f21d20d4e70>
 #<package emacs-execline@1.1 gnu/packages/emacs-xyz.scm:30310 7f21ced50c60>
 #<package python-pyodbc-c@3.1.5 gnu/packages/databases.scm:3057 7f21cd48f370>)
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Not that bad. :-)

Note that the 2 packages using recursive checkouts are not missing; the
data is in SWH but the checksum hits bug#48540.

Ok, let save these missing packages.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
$ for p in tint2 surfraw remmina libsequoia zn-poly ecl-cl-utilities 
cl-utilities sbcl-cl-utilities openrgb guile-ac-d-bus guile-goblins graphviz 
komikku bitcoin-unlimited fulcrum flowee kicad kicad-footprints kicad-symbols 
emacs-execline python-pyodbc-c; do guix lint -c archival $p ;done

gnu/packages/xdisorg.scm:1848:12: tint2@0.14.6: Disarchive entry refers to 
non-existent SWH directory 'b37b584d6b32848a4d57e8cab1af412cd46fcc9e'
gnu/packages/vnc.scm:66:5: remmina@1.4.23: scheduled Software Heritage archival
gnu/packages/sequoia.scm:421:12: libsequoia@0.22.0: scheduled Software Heritage 
gnu/packages/sagemath.scm:231:5: zn-poly@0.9.2: scheduled Software Heritage 
gnu/packages/hardware.scm:986:5: openrgb@0.7: scheduled Software Heritage 
gnu/packages/guile-xyz.scm:3800:12: guile-ac-d-bus@1.0.0-beta.0: scheduled 
Software Heritage archival
gnu/packages/guile-xyz.scm:5109:5: guile-goblins@0.8: scheduled Software 
Heritage archival
gnu/packages/gnome.scm:12350:5: komikku@0.39.0: scheduled Software Heritage 
gnu/packages/finance.scm:1644:5: bitcoin-unlimited@ scheduled Software 
Heritage archival
gnu/packages/engineering.scm:949:12: kicad@6.0.6: scheduled Software Heritage 
gnu/packages/engineering.scm:1118:12: kicad-footprints@6.0.6: scheduled 
Software Heritage archival
gnu/packages/engineering.scm:1089:12: kicad-symbols@6.0.6: scheduled Software 
Heritage archival
gnu/packages/emacs-xyz.scm:30313:12: emacs-execline@1.1: scheduled Software 
Heritage archival
gnu/packages/databases.scm:3061:5: python-pyodbc-c@3.1.5: scheduled Software 
Heritage archival
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

About tint2, commit 34c0cb5d6305ff7cc56318fbaa649afbe83464c7 from Thu
Aug 4 replaces url-fetch by git-fetch.

Now, let examine SWH and browse the saved requests.  The package
’remmina@1.4.23’ was saved because it had been visited on 11 January
2022.  For instance, give a look at [4].  It means something is
unexpected although the source code is there: instead of string Git tag,
let consider the Git commit hash [5].

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
scheme@(guix-user)> (lookup-origin-revision 
""; "v1.4.23")
$10 = #f
scheme@(guix-user)> (lookup-revision "a03c1648a090458736434c77c0be00a7cf9cc44b")
$11 = #<<revision> id: "a03c1648a090458736434c77c0be00a7cf9cc44b" date: #<date 
nanosecond: 0 second: 1 minute: 3 hour: 23 day: 19 month: 12 year: 2021 
zone-offset: 0> directory: "cc094a7d19d607beea54bfec549b4120d8c2ec92" 
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Well, it requires more investigations to understand why the Guix code
fails.  Last, SWH fails to ingest
<> for instance; another

1: <>
3: <>
5: <>

All in all, robust time-machine needs some love. :-)


Attachment: from-gitlab-dot-com.scm
Description: snippet.scm

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