One upon a time setup.rb was THE way to install ruby packages. But
over the last year or so, setup.rb has begun to fade from the scene.
Installing to site_ruby location has largely eroded in general. Even
commonly used project assist tools have moved away from site_ruby
installation support.

The main reason is obvious, RubyGems has become all but ubiquiteous.
No mystery there. But I suspect also, this has a lot to do with the
rise of Mac users among the Ruby community --since Mac packages are
folder based, similar to RubyGems.

Long time Rubyists still include setup.rb in there projects, they know
doing so facilitates distribution managers in repackaging --most
notably .deb's.

But I wonder if it's time to take the next step and forgo setup.rb and
site_ruby altogether. To throw down a gauntlet to the old FHS schools,
that it's time for them to adapt, rather then the other way around.

I personally think it is probably a noble pursuit. To put some bottom
up pressure on Unix/Linux and FHS to move forward with better, more
modern approaches.

Of course, to truly do so, Ruby itself has to embrace the design. It
has started to do with the inclusion of Gems in 1.9, but we still must
consider what limitations remain that prevent Ruby from fully  moving
in this direction. In other words can Gems bootstrap? Can Ruby itself
be "gem updated".

T.

P.S. In my personal regard, I'm coming at this from the point of view
of wanting to access package metadata (eg. version) from within my
scripts without having to maintain separate ruby code for it in the
lib/ folder.