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Re: Software Heritage fifth anniversary event

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Software Heritage fifth anniversary event
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 16:02:49 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.2 (gnu/linux)


zimoun <> skribis:

>> >   • bit-for-bit archival: there’s a tension between making SWH a
>> >     “canonical” representation of VCS repos and making it a faithful,
>> >     bit-for-bit identical copy of the original, and there are different
>> >     opinions in the team here; our use case pretty much requires
>> >     bit-for-bit copies, and fortunately this is what SWH is giving us in
>> >     practice for Git repos, so checkout authentication (for example)
>> >     should work even when fetching Guix from SWH.
> The main issue is the lookup.  Non bit-for-bit archival implies that
> people store a SWH lookup key (swhid I guess) at ingestion time,
> otherwise it becomes nearly impossible to find back.  To me, the
> tension is in the meaning of preservation of source code, i.e.,
> between archiving for reading or archiving for compiling.

Exactly, I guess that’s the big difference.  Also: allowing archived
content to be authenticated by third parties vs. having to trust SWH.

> In the case of compilation, all the lookup must be automated and so
> non bit-for-bit archival means: make swhid THE standard for
> serialization; somehow replacing all the other checksums.

Yes, but even if that eventually happens, it’s going to take time.


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