On Fri, 13 Aug 2004 21:14:25 +0900, Dave Thomas <dave / pragprog.com>
wrote:
[...]
> I don't understand why the rpa folks had to reinvent the packaging
> wheel here: the service they offer is orthogonal to Gems, and
> could have used Gems as the distribution mechanism.

I thought I read somewhere that Gems will be using something similar
to what RPA's RPS packages offer now. Beyond that, though, there are
philosophical differences between the package managers that I don't
think are simply resolvable by reusing the distribution mechanism. I
think that both philosophies are right for certain cases and neither
case is right for other cases.

RPA's concept of cleanly interworking versions as a "release" seems
completely incompatible with RubyGems total version anarchy. At the
same time, the ability to install any version at any time --
accepting the risks involved -- is an advantage of RubyGems at the
moment. I like the ability to say "use release version 5" and get
known versions of libraries that work together nicely (at least in
theory), but also want the ability to say "use release version 5,
but use version 7 of this package".

Neither RubyGems nor RPA solves the problem ideally -- both teams
know my feelings on this :)

I do like the distinction that Mauricio has made between RPA and
RubyGems. RubyGems, to be completely useful, has to be The Standard.
Ideally, it will also be incorporated into the core of Ruby --
hopefully eliminating the need for require_gem. (I still don't like
the idea of requiring the gem name, rather than the gem's nominal
require statement -- e.g., diff-lcs rather than diff/lcs.) RPA, on
the other hand, since it works on entire "libraries", doesn't need
to be the standard. Both approaches have merit, and while I hope
that something can be done to integrate both approaches as I don't
*really* want to have to have both on my computer as a user, I don't
have an issue with doing that for the moment.

-austin
-- 
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca