I think it is time for gem_prelude to die.

It was created to address a symptom, namely, that rubygems was slow on =
some systems (and proportional to the number of gems you have =
installed). I don't know of any other reason why it exists. If there are =
other reasons, I'd like to know.

The problem with dealing with symptoms instead of core problems is that =
you wind up with a bandaid on a bandaid and eventually you get bogged =
down. The rubygems team is bogged down and the release of 1.4 shows that =
1.9.2's gem_prelude is a serious problem that needs to be addressed =
quickly.

The speed issues have been addressed by:

+ `require`ing a lot less globally and only `require`ing as needed. [*]
+ Not loading plugins by default.
+ Version comparisons have been optimized. (thanks Aman!)

I'd like to drop gem_prelude down to 'require "rubygems"'. If you want, =
we can profile this against normal and pathological gem setups first.

I'd like to see this get approved, committed, tested, and released in a =
short amount of time. I'll help any way I can.

The current situation with 1.9.2 is really bad both for ruby and for =
rubygems.

[*] We're down to one extra require of thread to maintain compatibility =
with rails. When they fix it on their next release then we'll drop it.