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Re: persistent reproducibility ?

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: persistent reproducibility ?
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:46:18 +0100


Thank you the details.

>> One of the issues is that the Guix packages tree will never include
>> some softwares, even if they are open source. Because the authors
>> apply weird licences or non-GNU compliant licences, or simply because
>> authors are not so motivated to push. Even if I totally agree with the
>> paragraph about Proprietary Softwares in your cited paper, it is just
>> a fact from my humble opinion.
> If you mean “open source” in the sense of “using a license that is
> certified by the Open Source Initiative” then that software is probably
> Free Software.  There is no such thing as GNU compliance in licenses.

I mean "open source" any software publicly released with publicly
accessible source. It is large. ;-)

And I totally agree with the condition to be included or not in the
Guix infrastructure.

My point is that a lot of softwares released in scientific world will
never reach such condition. It is sad and I think all people here are
trying to change by convincing the authors. But, it is a pragmatic

Hum? I am not sure to get your point about GNU compliance. For example,
`apt' and `debian-installer' illustrate the well-known and famous
debate between RMS and Debian. :-)

> We do however follow the GNU FDSG (Free System Distribution Guidelines),
> which may result in some software to be excluded or modified in rare
> cases.  (One example is “Shogun”, which we modify to remove included
> non-free software.)

Yes, the GNU FDSG defines "free" (as in speech). And there is "open
source" softwares which are not included in this definition (for the
good, for the bad, I am not arguing).
For example, some versions of Scilab (clone of Matlab) with a "weird"
license (CeCILL-2).

For the record, let indicate an historical  point: :-)

I am not arguing about "bad" practices. I am just pointing that the
situation of scientific softwares is often really complicated. Because
they often glue a lot of different piece of softwares, e.g.,

Note that, in the same way that non-free parts are removed from
`shogun', the guix package `gmsh' removes METIS non-free part (which
is "open source"). Hope that this clarifies my point and feeds
argument about channel. :-)

>> Therefore, what should be the "standard" way to manipulate against
>> history version external and decentralised packages ? and guix repo
>> packages too ?
>> Well, if I understand your both answers, the correct process should
>> be: Alice publishes a paper containing the exact version (commit hash
>> or revision number or origin hash) of both the source tree and the
>> recipe tree, and their both uri location, and then, Joe "just" needs
>> to check out each (manually for now or possibly by nice UI glue).
> It would be sufficient to provide two things: a manifest and the Guix
> version (“git -C /path/to/guix.git describe”).  If additional package
> repositories are used (such as guix-bimsb for my institute), their
> versions have to be recorded as well.

Thank you to clarify the way.

If I understand well, additional meta-data should be manually provided by Alice.

Extract a manifest is some UI glue, even, it is perhaps already possible.

However, the Guix version do not appear to me straightforward. Does
this information should be included when installing a package ?

> Joe would then check out Guix and any additional package repositories at
> the specified versions and then instantiate the manifest.  Provided that
> all source tarballs are still obtainable (either directly or through a
> mirror) and the builds are in fact bit-reproducible Joe would end up
> with the same software environment that Alice fully specified in the
> paper.

Should be possible to extract all the required information from a
profile with a kind of `guix pack' at the source level ?
This should be useful ? or not at all and I am wishing a twisted process ?

Thank you for your insights.
And for sharing the MDC's configuration!

All the best.


> --
> Ricardo
> GPG: BCA6 89B6 3655 3801 C3C6  2150 197A 5888 235F ACAC

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