> Looking at this:
> 
> http://github.com/mark-moseley/ruby-debug-ide/blob/master/ext/mkrf_conf.rb
> 
> I'm a bit confused... does this replace the normal RubyGems dependency
> mechanism? (i.e. dependencies specified in the GemSpec)

Let's see...no.

The itch that needs scratching is gem dependencies that differ per 
platform and per ruby version.

In theory there's a few ways to get those "platform specific gems" 
installed.

You could create an executable called 
install_gem_xxx_platform_dependencies

then users have to do

$ gem install gem1
$ install_gem_gem1_platform_dependencies # installs more gems for you

You might be able to create different version of the same gem, that 
target different platforms, like
gem1-mswin32-60 and gem1-jruby-60
and have different dependencies listed in each.  correct me if I'm wrong 
but I think this still would not allow for gem1-mswin32-60 to install 
different gems based on the ruby version [i.e. different for 1.8 and 
1.9].

You maybe could leverage the new hooks that gems provides.

Or you could "hack" the extconf.rb to install system dependent gems.

This is the equivalent of putting the 
"install_gem_gem1_platform_dependencies" functionality into extconf.rb 
itself, thus there aren't two steps for a user to run to install a gem.

HTH.
-r
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