Hello, list!

This is, of sorts, a cross post of an idea that lodged itself in my head 
pretty firmly. ;)

As part of scratching an itch (gain access to a *NIX environment for my 
Ruby work), I've setup an Ubuntu VM.

So, I got thinking: Why not offer this to the community as a tool, and 
why not include the community in creating the best possible Ruby 
environment?

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A Ruby Appliance

What is an "Appliance"?

In this context, an appliance is a ready-to-run virtual machine. No set 
up to speak of required.


But why? Isn?t it easy to install Ruby wherever you like?

That is very true.

However, the Ruby ecosystem is very *NIX centric. Not everyone has the 
luxury, or time or ability, to setup and maintain a UNIX-like operating 
system.

Virtualization and thus appliances turn operating systems into just 
another kind of program. They reduce the risk of using a different 
operating system. Further, not everyone using Ruby wants to, or can, dig 
through C extensions to make them work on their operating system of 
choice. The hurdles as a Windows user are too high in most cases.

An appliance makes it easier to setup test environments, so they are 
great for seasoned developers, as well!

You can start with a clean slate, only Ruby, RubyGems, and a compiler 
tool chain are installed, and you can easily revert to this blank slate 
at the push of a button. With the different networking tools in today?s 
VM tools, you can even test network deployment of Rails applications.

So here is my proposal:

To create the best possible Ruby appliance and experience, I want to 
know which Gems and tools the Ruby community sees as essential to make 
life as a Rubyist easier.

Submit your ideas, and the Ruby Appliance will benefit and with that, 
all of the Ruby community.