Paul Eggert dixit:

> CONFIG_SHELL lets the user override Gnulib's guess in environments where the
> guess is wrong. This sort of thing has been in Gnulib (and Autoconf) for ages,
> I expect many people have grown used to it, and I'm leery of changing this 
> just
> for the purpose of reproducible builds. For reproducible builds, I suggest
> configuring with CONFIG_SHELL=/bin/sh as that should make the build
> reproducible without having to change Autoconf or Gnulib.

Right. (If /bin/sh is usable and constant, that is. Some packages in
Debian may cause this to become unreproducible, in which case setting
CONFIG_SHELL=/bin/bash is, unfortunately, the correct thing to do.)

> More generally, 'configure' and reproducible builds are competing objectives.


> Probably the best way to marry these two is for the reproducible
> build to start with a reproducible environment, and setting
> CONFIG_SHELL to a known value is one step in that direction.

This is something I hinted at earlier, and fully agree with!

“It is inappropriate to require that a time represented as
 seconds since the Epoch precisely represent the number of
 seconds between the referenced time and the Epoch.”
        -- IEEE Std 1003.1b-1993 (POSIX) Section B.2.2.2

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