[rb-general] __DATE__ and other toolchain patches

Mattia Rizzolo mattia at mapreri.org
Mon Jan 14 12:42:01 CET 2019

On Tue, Dec 25, 2018 at 08:31:42PM +0000, Bernhard M. Wiedemann wrote:
> regarding https://github.com/uoaerg/wavemon/pull/59
> I thought, we do not need to do this kind of patch anymore since gcc
> natively supports SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH to override __DATE__ and __TIME__
> and everyone interested in reproducible builds sets this variable.

I think it's still very nice.

> I guess, we could even frame this more broadly and ask, if there is a
> toolchain fix merged upstream
> (think https://bugs.launchpad.net/intltool/+bug/1687644 )
> do we still want to fix issues that would already have gone away if
> everyone had that fix in his distribution?

I personally still prefer to _also_ push for single fixes, dropping any
source of possible unreproducibilities.

After all, the build date is totally meaningless in pretty much all
cases I can think of, so getting rid of it completely is only good, and
there is no reason to go out of our way to actively say "hey, don't
bother with that" in MRs removing __DATE__/__TIME__.

> On my side I very much prefer to push toolchain fixes because you fix
> it only once and not in an infinite number of places using that code.

That's for sure.  I take the two approaches as somewhat incidental,
albeit not completely orthogonal.

                        Mattia Rizzolo

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