On Apr 30, 2004, at 11:57 AM, Curt Hibbs wrote:

>> Anyone want to help with that? :) I need to get on the stick and
>> produce something on that.
>
> You should consider joining existing projects that are already working 
> on
> these problems.
>
> For example, the RubyGems project is all about packaging up Ruby 
> libraries
> and applications and installing them from remote or local repositories 
> in a
> manner that is dead simple. It can install packages that are pure Ruby,
> binary Ruby extensions, and it can build and install extensions from 
> source.

This is good for ruby extensions... I eagerly await the point in time 
where gems are given the same status as other installed libraries, and 
require_gem goes away. I can see nothing but good stuff up ahead for 
rubygems. :) But that isn't what I was talking about: rubygems will be 
nice for *after* you get things installed. I want people to be able to 
package up their own ruby 'distro', including the best tools and their 
dependencies.

> Then there is the Ruby Installer project. This project is all about 
> creating
> self-installing pre-packaged Ruby runtimes that include Ruby, useful 
> tools,
> and best-of-breed libraries. At the moment it only includes an 
> installer for
> Windows, but I'd like to expand this to include other platforms (we 
> just
> need some interested Rubyists to sign up to work on the other 
> platforms).

Well, I had heard about the *Windows* Installer project, but I hadn't 
heard of the *Ruby* installer project. Since the project you mention 
seems to want a cross-platform solution, I'll check it out. It sounds 
like maybe they have already done a good portion of the work I saw as 
necessary to a packaging project.


> And there is the wxRuby project (since you mentioned wxWidgets), that 
> is
> providing Ruby bindings to wxWidgets. In binary versions, includes a
> pre-built wxWidgets binary along with the Ruby wrappers. See:

I have that installed :) I was very impressed by how nicely packaged it 
was.

> The reason I point all of this out is because all of these projects 
> rely on
> volunteers like you and me to make progress. And, obviously, we can do 
> a lot
> more if we work together rather than duplicate efforts.

Of course! Thank you for pointing these out; I'll definitely be 
checking out he Ruby Installer project, and seeing if it's extensible 
enough for my ideas, or if it can be made extensible enough.

I think that this is an example of another need for the ruby community, 
which I pointed out in my previous message. We have RubyForge, a 
centralized project management site;  We have RAA, a centralized 
software/library trove; we also have rubygems, a (soon to be) 
centralized source for installation of libraries and applications. But 
we don't have a place yet for categorizing what libraries are needed, 
what libraries need help, proposing new library ideas, etc...

For example: Just recently there was a long discussion on this list 
about a unified, simplified, cross-toolkit gui language. Someone could 
use that library to build their gui, then add a couple lines to 
determine which gui would end up being used. The discussion went on for 
a while, but I never found out if anything came of it.

If we had a site like I described, anyone interested in GUI toolkits 
would go to the site, and look under that category; see what other 
people had been talking about on message boards, see proposed ideas, 
etc... all in one place. It could be integrated with RAA and RubyForge 
(once it matured somewhat) so that it would make it a simple thing to 
go from conception to implementation, while gathering as many 
interested people as possible. It could help people who want to help, 
but aren't as advanced, to find projects that they are interested in 
helping with.

I realize that this is a large idea; but I wonder what other people 
would think about setting something like that up. Am I missing 
something? Are there existing methods that would be as good or better? 
Do we just need to publicize certain ways of doing things?

cheers,
--Mark