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On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 7:07 PM, Tom Cloyd <tomcloyd / comcast.net> wrote:

>
>
> Wow! Thanks for validation, as we say in my trade.
>
> I'm VERY committed to Kubuntu Linux, after converting from WinXP earlier
> this year. So many things to like. BUT I still vividly recall the first time
> installed a program and watched it disappear with a trace. Not in the launch
> menu. Not on the desktop. It took me hours to find out that sometimes they
> get put...uh...now where was it? Unless it goes here, or maybe there. I'm
> still incredulous about this crap. Just plain dumb.
>
> But then there's a lot of that because there are lost of people in the
> Linux world with what I call "secret knowledge" - defined as that stuff
> which, though I spend DAYS working through Linux, Ruby, HTML, CSS and god
> knows what else problems, I never seem to learn. Like where DO installed
> programs go?


The biggest secret is knowing how to do good google searches. <G>

>
> And thanks for validating my concerns about Rubygems. Why is this thing,
> nice as it is, such a ... (uh "rhymes with witch") to install?
>
> All I can say is that more people ought to be yelling. Just because we're
> grateful for the wonder that is ruby (and other, associated wonders) - and I
> certainly am - doesn't mean that it's acceptable that how to compile it is
> such a mystery that it actually makes sense for "Compiling Ruby, RubyGems
> and Rails on Ubuntu" to be a blog entry at the FiveRuns website -
> http://blog.fiveruns.com/2008/3/3/compiling-ruby-rubygems-and-rails-on-ubuntu/comments/5614
> .
>
> It's a very nice entry, but why in blazes isn't it at the ruby-lang
> website? And one like for the other major OS's, as well? Does the ruby
> community (not to mention the Ubuntu, etc., communities) want broader
> acceptance or not? If so, then get this basic information out where we can
> find it. I'd be utterly dead in the water without Google and the enormous
> mercies of this list.


There is lots of info on the issues with installing Ruby, rubygems, rails
etc. on Ubuntu and other Debian based distros.
Much of this is in the context of folks trying to install Rails, since 1)
it's probably the most popular reason to install ruby, and 2) it pre-reqs
ruby and ruby gems.  Searches with various combinations of ubuntu/debian,
and rubygems/rails will uncover lots of such info.

http://wiki.rubyonrails.org/rails/pages/RailsOnUbuntu
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RubyOnRails
   Note that this recommends installing rubygems directly, going around
apt-get


>
>
> Well, I still don't have a functioning rubygems. Or rather, I do, but it
> cannot be found by my also-functional ruby install. Gotta go wrestle them
> alligators.
>

Much as I LOVE Ubuntu, and i's parent Debian, sometimes the debian
philosophy results in problems when the Debian maintainers think they know
better than the upstream developers and make changes without understanding
the reasons for why things are done in a way that are outside of their ken.

One recent very visible example was the discovery that the debian maintainer
of ssh-keygen had fixed a 'bug', and the bug resulted in removing almost all
of the entropy from keys generated on Debian based systems, leading to a mad
scramble to recover from a rather widespread security exposure.

And rubygems is, IMHO, another example.  The Debian maintainers decided that
rubygems packaging didn't really fit with debian packaging, the debian
community's 'position' on rubygems is here:

   http://pkg-ruby-extras.alioth.debian.org/rubygems.html

They pretty much reject the notion that a package management system should
allow the client of a package(gem) to specify a versioned dependency in the
source code, or to have multiple versions of a package/gem which can by
dynamically required.  This is a crucial feature of rubygems which allows
flexibility in deployment.  Not everyone might need it but when you do you
really do.

As I said there is a lot of good in Ubuntu/Debian, and I use Ubuntu for my
server, although I've moved on to using a MacBook for development.

On a less technical level, using the debian packaged versions of
ruby/gems/... means that you are dependent on the maintainers to provide new
versions, and even if they do, you might need to update to a new release of
the distro to get them unless someone has done a backport.

When I first started playing with Ruby, it was on an Ubuntu system, and I
ran into these issues.  I got some good advice from Andy Hunt to install
both Ruby and Rubygems from source rather than using apt-get.

That's what I recommend when asked, but that's just my advice.

-- 
Rick DeNatale

My blog on Ruby
http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/

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