[rb-general] patch and groff

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Tue May 23 03:15:28 CEST 2017

Hi Bernhard,

On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 10:33:57AM +0200, Bernhard M. Wiedemann wrote:
> I noticed some reproducibility issues arriving from software like groff
> using the mtime of its input files (e.g. groff.man) to add text to its
> output file (e.g. groff.1(.gz)) - in this case via its mtime.sh
> That is perfectly reproducible as long as you only use the upstream
> tarball, but then we apply a patch that modifies the input file
> and thus gets the current build time inserted into the output.
> One (ugly) way to avoid that here is
> find -name \*.man | xargs touch -d at ...
> We could also patch mtime.sh to clamp output values to SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH
> Or we call patch --set-utc --force
> but unfortunately many patches do not contain timestamps.
> or we patch patch itself to keep mtime of modified files - but that
> might confuse make in some places.
> I was wondering how others were solving such issues.

from a quick look at issues.yml in notes.git I dont think we're tracking
this in Debian yet. Do you have a list of affected packages?

(and yes, we really really out to share notes.git between distros…! the
spec is ready, so one could maybe start by simply using it (in a branch for
the first day(s) until we updated the parser to grok the slightly modified
yaml structure…))

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