Iain Barnett wrote:
> Do all gems become available to irb so they can be loaded using relative 
> paths even when the library itself has not been required?

In ruby 1.9, rubygems is activated automatically - you don't need 
require 'rubygems'

There isn't really any such thing as "requiring the library itself". A 
library is just a collection of .rb files. So if 
.../gems/foo-1.2.3/lib/bar/baz.rb exists, then require "bar/baz" will 
find it, unless it finds another one earlier in the path.

So I think the mystery is solved :-)

For development purposes, you could do

    irb -I.

to put the current directory at the front of the search path - or the 
equivalent in .irbrc
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