[tex-k] Reproducible builds using pdftex

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed May 4 20:20:44 CEST 2016


    I'm still not seeing a compelling reason 

As far as I know, it's only compelling for whole-distro reproducible
build process purposes.  There's no need for a person writing a doc
intended to be reproducible in the first place to need any envvar
settings.  That's why Thanh invented those other new primitives.

    pdflatex \\year=2016 \\month=4 \\day=1 \\input mydoc

Changing the pdflatex invocation means changing the Makefiles (or
whatever) for the individual packages in nontrivial ways.  That's no
easier than changing the documents themselves.  And changing anything is
what they want to avoid.  They want ("need") to set envvars and have the
whole build be reproducible without tinkering with each

    Overriding additional timestamps in metadata produced by pdftex,
    dvips, dvipdfmx, etc is a different matter, but that's a distinct
    issue that doesn't involve TeX primitives;

I agree, which is why I wanted a second environment variable to induce
that horrible should-be-unnecessary kludgery.  -k

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