Bug#862112: #862112: r-base-dev: Generate reproducible output independently of the build path

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Mon May 15 20:05:56 UTC 2017

Sorry, was out traveling / running a relay.  Now back.

On 15 May 2017 at 17:12, Ximin Luo wrote:
| Holger Levsen:
| > control: found -1 3.4.0-1
| > control: notfound -1 3.4.0-1.0~reproducible2
| > 
| > Hi Dirk,
| > 
| > I've asked Ximin to file this bug so that we have something to track and to
| > refer in discussions…
| > 
| > you wrote:
| > 
| >> At work now with limited time, but I think I already told you twice that
| >> there were two of the three parts of the patch you proposed to upstream that
| >> I would not take, were I upstream (which I am not).
| > 
| > Dirk, could you please point out (here in this bug report) which of the two parts
| > you consider unsuitable?
| > 
| We talked about this over private email, this refers to the patch hunks in:
| - src/library/tools/R/admin.R
| - src/library/tools/R/parseRd.R
| The suggestion was to guard them behind a command-line option using getOption, so presumably Debian could set this whilst upstream / other distros do not.

Corret. As posted, the patch changes existing behaviour _unconditionally_ so
I don't not think I can say with a straight face to upstream that they should
take this.

And also: you can turn them on for your builds, I won't at first, but
advertise so that more users can test it. "Eventually" I may turn them on as

The R "universe" is _at least_ the (currently around) 10600+ packages (yes,
really, 10 thousand) on CRAN.  The fact that we successfully rebuilt our 400+
is important aspect but nowhere near comprehensive enough.
| However, since I'm not familiar with the full R codebase I was waiting to see if upstream had any further comments, because even with the getOption() change there might be other consequences that I didn't foresee. In this case it would be beneficial for Debian's behaviour to exactly match upstream, so we get the same bugs (if any).
| > Ximin, looking at https://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/reproducible/r-base.git/log/?h=pu/reproducible_builds
| > I believe it would be best to merge those two (top most) commits into one?
| > 
| >> A decent longer-term strategy may well to stress-test the patch by including
| >> it in our builds for a while.  We can work on that.
| > 
| > actually we've been using Ximin's patches on tests.reproducible-builds.org
| > since the 2nd of May on amd64 and since the 3rd on arm64, armhf and i386.
| > 
| > According to https://tests.reproducible-builds.org/debian/index_performance.html
| > (top row labeled "oldest build result) in the first table on the right) this
| > means we've almost done a full rebuild with the patch on amd64+arm64 (probably
| > 85% done now) and pretty close to that on i386…
| > 
| > According to this, this patch seems to work well…
| > 
| The patch works well for getting stuff built, but I haven't tested all of
| the *behaviour* of these packages. (Some probably have unit tests, but these
| don't cover everything at any rate.)


| That is why I wanted to wait for upstreams' comments first, before adding the getOption guards - which are relatively minor IMO, compared to what the full patch does.

Correct if I am wrong but you have not heard back from upstream, have you?

[ That is not uncommon for posts on r-devel. Sometimes one needs to be
persistent, and/or ally with an R Core maintainer. Which is pretty much what
I suggested early one. ]

| I also haven't tested other potential tools that might process R rdb files, who might for some reason expect absolute build paths.

Correct as well.

We are moving in the right direction, but we should not rush this. Upstream
*is* sympathetic, they have taken an earlier 'repro build' patch.

| X
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http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com | @eddelbuettel | edd at debian.org

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