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On Monday 26 September 2005 21:29, Austin Ziegler wrote:
> Then you fail to see the point in general. Ruby needs something that
> works similar to -- but better than -- CPAN. This means a packaging
> system. You may not see it, but those of us who have to deal with
> other platforms see it.

Well, I'll agree there.  CPAN is an anti-solution which causes more problems 
than it solves.  Only people who work with Perl regularly seem to like it; 
for users of Perl applications, it is often more of a curse.  There are even 
many Perl developers who grumble about CPAN.  However, Perl is stuck with 
CPAN.  It is so intrinsically intertwined with Perl that getting rid of or 
replacing CPAN would be an excercise in pain and suffering the likes of which 
hasn't been seen since... well, pick your favorite historical ethnic 
atrocity.  However, at least CPAN isn't built into Perl.

I don't understand the comment about "those ... who have to deal with other 
platforms".  What does that mean?  From the packager's point of view?  From 
the library author's point of view?

<rant>
Personally, I don't think software installation is at all the job of the 
language.  Software management is the job of the operating system (or 
distribution).  It is the very essense of their value-added.  It is bad 
enough when some poor schmuck of a user has to figure out and remember how to 
use the package manager of their system, much less having to remember a 
separate one for each language they install because they want to use some 
application.

Language-specific package managers, in my experience, are often -- perhaps 
exclusively -- championed by *developers*.  Never by end-application users, 
because they always suck for casual users.

Ruby is still largely a scripting language.  That is, main *users* of Ruby are 
still people *programming* Ruby for bespoke applications.  I suspect that 
inclusion of Gems will cement that role for Ruby.
</rant>

Incidentally, last time I checked, Gems *still* didn't work behind an 
authenticating firewall, despite the fact that I can get through with wget 
--proxy-user.  There is nothing -- NOTHING -- worse than trying to install 
something that depends on a library that is *only* distributed via a gemfile.  
This makes the package impossible to install.

Finally, I understand that some people want a CPAN-like solution.  That's 
fine.  However, I agree with Sam that versioning should handled separately 
from the language-specific package manager.  The manager is *heavily* 
dependant on the versioning mechanism, but the opposite shouldn't be true.  
This is poor coupling, exhibits feature envy, and should offend anybody with 
any extensive experience in OO architecture and design.

-- 
--- SER

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, 
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some 
great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach 
their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned 
by a downright moron."        -  H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

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