Ruby on Rails support in Intrepid - call for reviewers and cheerleaders

Mathias Gug mathiaz at
Tue Aug 19 22:01:26 BST 2008

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 03:15:15PM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Tuesday 19 August 2008 15:11, Neil Wilson wrote:
> > Rubygems contains 'gem' - the Ruby Package manager. Ruby on Rails is a
> > gem based framework and is completely integrated with the gem package
> > manager. In Intrepid I would expect users to continue to use gem to
> > install Rails and for that to be feasible we need a Rubygems package
> > that works as people expect it to work. I have implemented a patch
> > that uses the alternatives system so that we can have gem install
> > binaries in the $PATH without gem and apt running into each other and
> > without violating Debian policy.  This will close a long standing bug
> > (
> >
> > I've been working closely with the Rubygems upstream team and the
> > package is based on the latest source code from their repository which
> > will be released as Rubygems 1.3.0 very shortly. Getting this into
> > Intrepid will mean that it has the very latest Rubygems containing
> > User based gem support, which is required so that Rails' automatic gem
> > installation tasks work correctly.
> Does it have any notion of versions yet?  

What are you referring to exactly ? Which use case do you have in mind ?

> If one has two different gems that use the same binaries how does that work?

Binaries are installed in /usr/local/bin using update-alternatives. The
last installed gems wins.

> I think the answer (as Python has largely learned and Java is learning) is you 
> have to have a system that will let a package use the installed system 
> libraries and not try and work around the package management system?

What are you referring to by package ?

The make a parallel with python, the gem command is similar to easy_intall.

Neil's proposal is to improve the gem command (from the libgems-ruby
package) so that binaries are installed in /usr/local/bin (thus they're
on the default path). If you'd use install gems from the upstream
source, binaries would be installed in /usr/bin/. The goal is that gems
installed by the gem command don't interfere with ruby libraries and
binaries installed by debian packages.

Upstream provided the necessary hooks to do so and Neil used the
update-alternatives system to handle multiple version of gems being
installed in /usr/local/bin/ rather than /usr/bin/.

Mathias Gug
Ubuntu Developer

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