> I just checked.  Compared with Debian's more than 18k packages (not sure
> how many more -- I haven't checked lately) and FreeBSD's more than 17k
> ports, it looks like Gentoo provides just over 11k.  I think that puts
> Gentoo solidly in second place for Linux distributions, but well behind
> FreeBSD.
>   
See the note about packages splitted in many subpackages in my reply to
Fred. I was thinking of Debian and Ubuntu when writing it... IIRC I had
to install around 10 packages on Ubuntu in March this year to get
roughly the same result than emerge ruby... I must admit I wasn't happy
about it especially as at the time Rails was installed with rubygems
manually so all the missing deps where found with runtime failures :-(
In the end Rails didn't even get to work correctly because of different
loadpaths in the gems and the deb packaged libraries. In short the
Ubuntu/Debian admin followed a Rails on Ubuntu tutorial and failed
because making the system consistant was hard even for plain simple
Rails. I sincerely hope Debian is better but I still have doubts (IIRC
the Ubuntu packages were the original Debian ones without any Ubuntu patch).

At least the dependency hell on Debian is benign compared to Fedora. One
time I managed to have eclipse installed on a slow Gentoo box faster
than a colleague on a fast Fedora box without even trying... yum had to
fetch around 70 packages for him while my configuration only generated
15-20 dependencies !

On a positive note, it doesn't seem FreeBSD was chopped in so many
pieces (at least for Ruby I only noticed a ruby18-doc that isn't counted
in Gentoo but there anyway in the basic ruby ebuild).

Lionel