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Re: intrinsic vs extrinsic identifier: toward more robustness?

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: intrinsic vs extrinsic identifier: toward more robustness?
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2023 18:45:16 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.2 (gnu/linux)


Thanks for starting this discussion!

Simon Tournier <> skribis:

> For sure, we have to fix the holes and bugs. :-)  However, I am asking
> what we could add for having more robustness on the long term.
> It is not affordable, neither wanted, to switch from the current
> extrinsic identification to a complete intrinsic one.  Although it would
> fix many issues. ;-)

Sources (fixed-output derivations) are already content-addressed, by
definition (I prefer “content addressing” over “intrinsic
identification” because that’s a more widely recognized term).

In a way, like Maxime way saying, the URL/URI is just a hint; what
matters it the content hash that appears in the origin.

So it seems to me that the basics are already in place.

What’s missing, both in SWH and in Guix, is the ability to store
multiple hashes.  SWH could certainly store several hashes, computed
using different serialization and hash algorithm combinations.

This is what you suggested at
<>; it was
also discussed in the thread at
<>.  It
would be awesome if SWH would store Nar hashes; that would solve all our
problems, as you explained.

The other option—storing multiple hashes for each origin in Guix—doesn’t
sound practical: I can’t imagine packages storing and updating more than
one content hash per package.  That doesn’t sound reasonable.  Plus it
would be a long-term solution and wouldn’t help today.



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