Clemens Hintze  mailto: c.hintze / gmx.net
 
# In article <m2n1fy8h3q.fsf / zip.local.thomases.com>, Dave Thomas wrote:
# >
# >Folks:
# 
# (...)
# 
# >My question is: would you also expect it to add the Ruby bin directory 
# >to your PATH? Which would be the least surprising: updating PATH or
# >not?

Pardon the pun, but I would be most unpleasantly surprised if you did 
either one by default. :-) 

# Some of the programs I have installed on Windows, let me the choice 
whether 
# they should update the path for me or not.
# 
# They also let me the choice if I want to restart the computer after
# installation or later on my own desire.

I think this (i.e. asking) is the most responsibly user-friendly way to do 
things. 

Having stuff on your PATH is very convenient, but for some reason it is a 
surprisingly limited resource on Win/NT (a mere 300+ chars, IIRC), and (at 
least a year or two ago), installing a Java SDK or a Java IDE would gobble 
up something like 2/3s of it, effectively filling it up and making it 
unusable for subsequent installs. (Does anyone know if Win2K fixes this?) 
So under some common conditions, updating PATH would be very desirable, 
and under other common conditions, it would be undesirable if you needed 
to conserve a very limited amount of space.

Likewise, consider a prospective Ruby user asking sysadmins to install 
this under various system configurations.  If some fraction of sysadmins 
don't have to manually undo an unwanted default, it will reduce the 
average friction with which Ruby spreads around.

Conrad Schneiker
(This note is unofficial and subject to improvement without notice.)