Introducing: Semantically reproducible builds

Bernhard M. Wiedemann bernhardout at
Mon May 29 08:58:10 UTC 2023

On 29/05/2023 06.10, Vagrant Cascadian wrote:
> Do such tools actually exist, or are we talking about something
> theoretical here? is in use for 13 years.

And strip-nondeterminism can be used to build another such tool.

They will only ever be able to normalize or ignore certain known classes 
of differences. It is good enough to avoid review of many diffs.

e.g. has
not-bit-by-bit-identical: 673
build-compare-failed: 483

So for 190 packages build-compare found that they only had insignificant 
diffs and were considered semantically equivalent, so I could spend more 
time, debugging the other 483 diffs.

> I very much worry that the meaning of Reproducible Builds may gradually
> get whittled down

I share this concern, which is why I have been calling this 
semi-reproducible to distinguish it from bit-reproducible / 
That 'semi-' prefix should give people a good hint of what it is and if 
not, encourage them to ask for details. "sort-of-reproducible" or 
"almost-but-not-quite-reproducible" could also be an option :-)

Bernhard M.
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