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.