[DRE-maint] Rubygems

Yehuda Katz wycats at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 07:56:34 UTC 2009

Hey guys,
I recently read your position on Rubygems. I think we can probably find a
way to solve the problem if we can get some help from Debian.

It seems to me like you have the following problems:

1) People have libraries that rely on Rubygems. I agree with this issue:

2) You want a simple way to install packages without needing the full
rubygems. To be honest, while you can appeal to the community to provide
setup.rb, it would in fact be easier for us to provide you with a tiny
subset of rubygems that can help you extract the installation information
from the gem specification. You can then find the bin directories, as well
as instructions for installing any binary gems. This will enable you to
install the parts of the gem where you want, and make it trivial to make
debian packages from rubygems. I would be willing to write something that
could serve as the base for a Rubygems=>Debian package converter if one does
not already exist.

3) Rubygems binaries have shebang lines that don't work on Debian or none at
all. This is because Rubygems creates a wrapper file that points directly at
the binary with the appropriate shebang. A rubygems=>deb converter could use
the same technique and then stash the binary anywhere it wished. It could
also copy the contents of the file out and replace or add the appropriate
shebang. I'd note that /usr/bin/env ruby does not work on Windows and is
therefore not considered a general purpose solution.

I understand that in a perfect world the Ruby community would conform with
Debian's desires here. In practice though, I think we can work toward a
solution that works for both communities with minimal fuss. I'm also
probably not the first person who's attempted this dialog. Some in the Ruby
community have decided to effectively write off Debian but I'm not willing
to do so.


Yehuda Katz
Developer | Engine Yard
(ph) 718.877.1325
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