[rb-general] SOURCE_PREFIX_MAP and Occam's Razor

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Tue Jan 24 13:29:35 CET 2017

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 06:47:35PM -0800, John Gilmore wrote:
> Date: Sun, 11 Oct 92 18:27:12 PDT
> From: david d `zoo' zuhn <zoo at cygnus.com>
> Subject: comparison results on p3 testing (GNBN)
> With the exception of m68k-coff targets, all hosts generate identical
> object files for the test case of GNU hello v1.1.  The m68k-coff objects
> appear to be different, beyond the timestamp (which also appears to be
> different, in byte 8, right?).  I don't know enough about coff or object
> files in general to try to find the differences.


> Subject: Re: comparison results on p3 testing (GNBN) 
> Date: Tue, 13 Oct 92 11:56:10 -0700
> From: gnu at cygnus.com
> > I think the intention in our tools is to not have the time stamp differ.
> > I'm not certain of this though.... anyone else?
> I strongly agree that our object files should not contain timestamps.
> If you compile the same sources with the same compiler, you should get
> the same result -- down to the bit.

wow. or rather: WOW.

Thanks a *lot* for digging out these old emails, those are super
interesting bits of history! I've heard about (very) few other projects
pre-2000 talking about reproducibility but this is the first time I see
first hand proof about _bit-by_bit_ identical stuff in those years!

It's also very interesting to think about how this literally has
bit-rotted over the years and how those goals and practices have been
totally forgotten, up to the point that we've had quite the very same
discussions and bugfixes in the last 2 years which you had 25 years ago. 


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