I'm not a Rails user, so maybe somebody can clarify: Where is that 
dependency coming from? Is it one of the Ruby standard libraries?

Regarding the dependency, I suppose it's up to the decision of the 
individual library maintainer. Since Ruby 1.8.2 has only been out for 
about a month, personally I'd feel a little iffy about making that 
requirement for my web framework ... or maybe not, seeing as how 
Feedblender requires 1.8.2 because it needs the RSS library built-in. 
;)

I think it's fair to say that the Ruby community is still quite small 
and expert-heavy, so people releasing libraries are relatively okay 
with breaking previous versions because it's assumed that most of their 
users won't have a problem keeping track of dependencies. As Ruby grows 
and Takes Over All Computing As We Know It, this mix will probably 
change, and maintainers of various libraries will feel more gentle 
pressure to work harder to maintain backwards compatibility.

Perhaps the time to start feeling that gentle pressure is already upon 
us?




On Jan 31, 2005, at 7:03 PM, Esteban Manchado Vel?zquez wrote:

> Hi all,
>
>    First of all, I love Ruby and I'm _not_ trolling with this message 
> :-)
>
>    Perhaps it's just a matter of Ruby being a young language, but I 
> find it
> too common that you have to use newer versions of Ruby for "many" (for 
> some
> definition of "many") application/libraries to work.
>
>    Of course, I can understand that for large applications, you may 
> want to
> rely on "advanced" features/libraries from the newer versions of the 
> Ruby
> distribution, but I find it frankly annoying that "many" applications 
> require
> a relatively new version of Ruby.
>
>    In particular, to use RoR, it seems that you need not only 1.8.x, 
> but 1.8.1
> or higher. And, moreover, upgrading the version of RoR breaks 
> applications. Is
> it really necessary breaking compatibility? Is this situation that way 
> only
> because RoR is < 1.0? David?
>
>    The thing is, many people _can't_ (or don't want to) upgrade their 
> Ruby
> interpreter, so we're raising the bar here for the adoption of Ruby 
> :-( For
> example, people using Debian stable (flames to /dev/null, please) 
> _can't_
> upgrade their Ruby interpreters. If they did, they would lose the 
> benefits of
> "automatic" security upgrades.
>
>    And, of course, that mostly fine for _developers_ who happen to 
> administer
> the machines they work on, but when administrator and developer aren't 
> the
> same person or don't share the same interests, the administrator 
> usually
> doesn't give a #### (insert your favourite four-letter bad word here) 
> about
> having a recent Ruby interpreter (WTF?).
>
>    So, I wanted to share these thoughts with you all, and wondered 
> what are
> your thoughts on this....
>
>    Regards,
>
> -- 
> Esteban Manchado Vel?zquez <zoso / foton.es> - http://www.foton.es
> EuropeSwPatentFree - http://EuropeSwPatentFree.hispalinux.es
>
>

Francis Hwang
http://fhwang.net/