> The ruby build system follows this model, ruby modules seem not too.
> Perl doesn't follow this model, YMMV with other packages.

To follow-up on Pat's comments, Ruby modules tend to use one of the
following options for building and installation:

* Ruby extension modules written in C, with no supporting "pure Ruby" files
(i.e. no *.rb files)
   will often just include the somewhat-standard extconf.rb script. The
purpose and use of this
   is described in "Programming Ruby" and other places so I won't rehash
that here.

* Many Ruby modules which include a mix of extension code and regular Ruby
files are
   using Minero Aoki's "setup.rb" script, which can be found in the Ruby
Application Archives.
   The home page for that project has some documentation with examples.

* The rest is a mixed bag of home-grown scripts, although they'll usually
have a recognizable
   name like "install.rb".

A related project is Ryan Leavengood's RubyGems
(http://sourceforge.net/projects/rubygems), which I think is sort-of still
in the planning stages. Ryan's presentation on RubyGems, from RubyConf 2001,
can be viewed here:

    http://www.rubyconf.org/2001/talks/RubyGemsPresentation_files/frame.html

Hope this helps,

Lyle