Collaborative Working Sessions - Understanding user-facing needs and personas

Clusters of stakeholders:

  • ‘end users’
    • ‘distro’ end-users
    • ‘direct’ (non-distro) end-users
    • ‘normies’
    • administrators
  • organizations that want to use reproducible software
    • software vendors
    • (oss) developer communities
  • intermediaries
    • distro/package managers
    • verifiers
    • managers/teamleaders

Goals:

  • even developers are not aware of reproducible builds. Expected much less so to end-users, but already
  • initiatives such as Debian mandating reproducibility

  • example: f-droid built an apk with malware from package repository, while the original developer had a cached non-backdoored version.
  • policy: most build pipelines nowadays have security compliance features, reproducibility might become a part of that. that helps developers care.
  • even if source is available it can be hard to rebuild in practice.

  • integration in package managers, so you can set a policy to only install reproducible software

  • what about software does not found in distro packages
    • repro-env: makes it easier to rebuild 3rd-party packages
    • important that software is reproduced by people unaffiliated with the project
  • Levels of trustworthiness:
    • low: source unknown, distributed by ‘authority’
    • medium: open source
    • high: reproducible open source
  • In case of F-Droid: there F-Droid takes the role of the 3rd party reproducing/verifying the software
    • extra advantage is that in case of F-Droid the APK built by F-Droid is compared to the APK built by the upstream. This is unfeasible for distro’s, though, since distro’s provide value by building packages in a particular way to provide a consistent experience to their users
  • registry where independent 3rd party rebuilders/verifiers can upload their build results
    • in-toto plugin for arch and debian would be an interesting inspiration
    • how to organize/fund such rebuilders?
    • integrate rebuilding functionality into distro/package managers?
      • reproduce probabilistically?
    • some large organizations may want to rebuild for their own use anyway
      • if we make it easy for them, and entice them to share their results, the rest of the community could piggy-back on that?
      • rebuilderd? results queryable over http api

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