On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 08:51:05AM +0000, Chris Lamb wrote:
> Dear Bill,
> > Upstream will never take it. This is not the right way to fix this bug
> > and you know it.
> I'm afraid I was a little disappointed to read your response. 

Sorry, but I was also a little disappointed to see such patch
coming from an experienced Debian developer.

TeX-based build systems should be fixed to use SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH etc. to
generate reproducible timestamp rather than TeX documents to be altered to
avoid timestamps. Indeed reproducible builds has the potential to make
timestamp much more accurate and useful, so it would be a waste to remove
them. Avoiding timestamps is also unsustainable in the long run.

We should favor the long term solution over the quick fix.

In the event you did not actually intend the patch to be applied, then
sorry for the confusion.

> It is entirely feasible that upstream would agree with the sentiment
> that such timestamps are not useful (or even misleading) and thus
> should be removed. I have convinced countless developers in the past
> using this or similar arguments.

Alas, the upstream of this package does not even provide a Makefile to
build the documentation. Instead the PDF file is included in the
tarball. So as far as they are concerned the timestamp are always correct
and the user has no business rebuilding the documentation.

But what is magic with SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH and other improvements from the
reproducible build project is that we can arrange for the build system
to generate the exact same timestamps than in the upstream tarball,
which is much better than removing them.

Bill. <ballo...@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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