On 12/09/10 at 23:25 +0900, Rick DeNatale wrote:
> That may be true, but the issues with gems and Debian go back farther than that.
> 
> When I first started using Ruby on Ubuntu (which of course uses the
> Debian packaged versions of Ruby etc.) I discovered that some of the
> debian package maintainers treated certain gems in a rather cavalier
> manner.  For example, at one time (I'm not sure if this is still the
> case) the executable in the rails gem as packaged for debian, had the
> ruby executable replaced by a bash script.

Could you clarify whether you mean "the rails gem as installed by
rubygems in Debian" or "rails, as packaged in Debian"? There are two
different things. Only in the latter case, it is possible that
differences were introduced by the Debian packaging to provide a
smoother experience.

> At the time I asked about this and was advised by more experienced
> Rubyists to use versions of Ruby and Rubygems installed from source.

You might have been ill-advised. ;)

As an additional data point, there is now a redmine package in Debian
and Ubuntu. It was pretty tricky to package due to the dependency on
rails, so the package had some issues at first. But what amazed me was
the number of people who were trying to install it and reported
issues. There is clearly a "market" for easy-to-install Ruby webapps,
and people people prefer to install them with the distribution's package
manager rather than manually.

> I've seen the recent emails from the debian maintainers on ruby gems,
> and there seems to be a central issue about ruby gems, overwriting the
> commands installed by a gem.

The issue is that it is easy with rubygems to overwrite commands
installed before by the local sysadmin.

AFAIK, the rubygems Debian package doesn't do what you describe (but I'm
not maintaining rubygems, only ruby itself).

- Lucas