Its Me wrote:
> I just downloaded Foxtails (the FXRuby extensions), and upon running the
> install scripts I was surprised to see that a bunch of the ruby files that
> came with it had been copied over into my ruby/lib/site_ruby/1.8 directory.

The installer in foxtails is the standard one, used by many packages:

http://raa.ruby-lang.org/list.rhtml?name=setup

You can install to another directory by doing

$ ruby install.rb config --prefix=/my/home/dir
$ ruby install.rb setup
$ ruby install.rb install

It's also possible to control the lib dir directly. See 'ruby install.rb 
--help' for details on the --site-ruby option. Then you may need to 
manually change your RUBYLIB env var.

> Is there a reason why installing libraries needs to make changes to the
> directory in which ruby itself is installed? I would have expected the
> installation to instead make additions to the path in $: instead.

The site_ruby dir is, as I understand it, the place where non-standard 
libraries are supposed to go.

What I do locally on my development machine is a bit different, because 
I don't like edit..install..edit..install. I have a lib dir in my home. 
This dir is listed on my RUBYLIB, and I symlink from it to my various 
project directories. This way, require finds my development code before 
looking in the ruby/lib areas, but I don't have to add each project 
individually to RUBYLIB.

> How does 'require', $:, and installation of new libraries work? (Hyperlink
> welcome; I did not find what I needed in pickaxe).

What about "Ruby and Its World" in the pickaxe, does that help?

Btw, hope you like foxtails...