Possible solutions to improve rubygems for intrepid

Mathias Gug mathiaz at ubuntu.com
Tue Sep 16 02:51:59 BST 2008


Here is a summary of the different solutions that have been discussed to
fix bug 145267 [1] aka binaries installed by gems via the gem command
are not on the PATH:

1. Provide binaries in /usr/local/bin: 

  a. Via symlinks from /var/lib/gems/1.X/bin/: uses postinst hooks and
  update-alternatives. This is what the reverted upload implemented [2].  

  b. Put binaries directly in /usr/local/bin instead of
  /var/lib/gems/1.X/bin/. This solution has been suggested by Lucas [3].


  * installed binaries could be overwritten by other installation
    systems and breaking binaries installed by the gem command. The gem
    sub-system would be less robust due to its links in /usr/local/bin/.

2. Modify /etc/environment during the rubygems package postinstall by
prepending /var/lib/gems/1.X/bin to the PATH definition. Suggested by
Loïc [4].


  * The PATH modification would not be available for daemons or scripts
    (eg: apache2) not running under a session managed by pam. 

  * The user has to logout/login after installing the rubygems package
    in order to take into account the PATH modification.

3. Revisit the OneTruePath specification during next UDS to see if a
central location to declare PATH could be designed.


  * not available in the Intrepid time frame.

4. Don't do anything.


  * the *perception* is left that rubygems is a broken package and does
    not work in Debian/Ubuntu.

Could one of the solutions above be implemented for Intrepid ?

[1]: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/libgems-ruby/+bug/145267/
[2]: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/libgems-ruby/1.3.0~RC1-0ubuntu1
[3]: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2008-September/026301.html
[4]: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2008-September/026299.html

Mathias Gug
Ubuntu Developer  http://www.ubuntu.com
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