On May 15, 6:46=A0pm, Matthew Bloch <matt... / bytemark.co.uk> wrote:
> You're not the only one, but I think we're in the minority. =A0gems have
> been a mess for years, badly documented, and unintegrated with any
> particular OS or distribution. =A0Programmers that issue gems use habits
> that make use of more mature packaging systems difficult. =A0From a
> sysadmin point-of-view, they make Ruby-heavy systems unmaintainable in
> the long-term, as any global "gem install" is likely to break
> applications.
>
> At Bytemark, we've started to hack out a better packaging infrastructure
> based on stodgy old .debs, and some automatic scripts to convert sets of
> popular gems to work with lenny & lucid. =A0Our automatically-managed
> systems need one extra apt sources line; we excise explicit use of Gem
> or 'gem' binaries where they're installed, and we just "require" what's
> needed. =A0It's turning into packaging bliss.

Sounds interesting. I'd like to know more. How does it compare to
http://github.com/rtomayko/rpg for instance?

> That means you can only have one system-wide version of any library, and
> that is just FINE thanks :) =A0We think the useful Ruby libraries are
> small in number, and the useful ones are proving themselves with stable
> releases. =A0We can live without those gems which change their APIs every
> minor version - that kind of alpha code needs copying into your app, not
> tied into a scissors-and-glue "packaging" system based on github
> snapshots or other flaky URLs.

That reminds me of an old packaging system that came out just before
RubyGems. It was closely controlled to include only high quality
packages. Any one recall it's name?

> We're in the middle of reinstalling our own apps and Ruby-heavy systems
> without gems, and will share our work later in the year once we've
> proved to ourselves it all works.

It will be interesting to see what you've come up with. Thanks.