[arch-general] Bazel, reproducible builds and the out-of-date packages fcitx5-mozc & fcitx-mozc

Alexander Michalopoulos apmichalopoulos at protonmail.com
Mon Jan 31 14:34:11 UTC 2022


This is a request concerning two out-of-date packages in [community] called fcitx5-mozc and fcitx-mozc. I’m not sure if this is the proper channel to address such things, if it isn’t then I apologize.

Fcitx/Fcitx5 is an input engine like IBus, and Mozc is a Japanese IME. There used to be more Mozc packages in [community] (e.g. ibus-mozc) but they were demoted to the AUR since a good while back, the reason being that upstream Mozc has opted to adopt Bazel as its build system, which among other things is a pain to make compatible with Arch’s reproducibility goals. It’s the same thing that has also happened with other packages like e.g. the one for Anki, which was also recently demoted to the AUR for the exact same reason.

The result of all this though is that, while these other Mozc packages have in the meantime been adopted and kept up-to-date in the AUR by several people, the fcitx5-mozc and fcitx-mozc packages have been kept outdated in [community] since May 2021, in their last known working GYP version (GYP was the build system used before Bazel but was deprecated in favor of the latter).

I understand that Bazel is… not a great piece of software, to put it mildly, and that upstream’s choice to use it is less than optimal; but keeping a package in an almost year-old outdated version is even less optimal in my opinion. Not to mention that even though for most people this kind of package (an input engine add-on for a non-Latin writing system) is obscure at best, for some of us it’s part of our everyday life and may even be crucial (for work or education purposes, etc) and thus keeping it up-to-date with upstream is a very desired goal.

My request is, since the maintainer of fcitx5-mozc and fcitx-mozc is probably not interested in updating these two packages to their current upstream versions, that they be demoted to AUR packages so they can be adopted and updated by other interested parties (that would be me). Or, if for whatever reason this isn’t an option, that either an effort is made to update them in situ to their current upstream versions (if such an effort is not already underway) or at least that they are renamed to something different (e.g. fcitx5-mozc-legacy and fcitx-mozc-legacy) so their current names can be adopted and used by new and up-to-date packages in the AUR.

Thanks for reading.

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