On 10/2/05, Devin Mullins <twifkak / comcast.net> wrote:
> Eivind Eklund wrote:
> Okay (and thanks for the reply). That's weird. If they don't paticularly
> care about Ruby, what are they doing installing Ruby gems (usually
> libraries)? If they're trying to install an application that happens to
> be written in Ruby, then does it not suffice for the .deb to list ruby
> and rubygems as dependences, and then for the install step to be `gem
> install the-app-dependencies` or whatever?

(Note that some of these are projections from problems I know about it
in the context of FreeBSD, which I'm a developer for, and RPA, which
I've been an advisor for.  I'm just projecting to Debian, based on
having read various Debian policy documents and talked to Debian users
and developers.)

There is several reasons, including the deinstall problem that was
mentioned, that Gems start writing places they shouldn't (so write
protection of some areas of the disk don't work), and that Debian
generally do maintenance on single versions, fixing security holes as
they pop up etc so you can install a package, then run apt-get update
and get everything updated.  This cascades to the rest of the package
organization.

Also, people expect to be able to find documentation etc in the
"normal places" even for langauges they're not used to, and
applications sometimes depend on executables.

There's a whole host of complexities that come up here when you
actually do packaging and maintenance.

Eivind.