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Frankinstall: Ruby on Rails on Debian

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RubyGems is a packaging system for Ruby applications and libraries (similar to CPAN for Perl). It is widely used inside the Ruby community (especially inside the Ruby on Rails community), and solves lots of issue regarding packaging and distribution of Ruby software on operating systems that donā€™t provide a package manager. Rubygems will be included in Rubyā€™s standard library in Ruby 1.9.1, and chances are high that it will become the de-facto standard for packaging and distributing Ruby libraries.

However, the Debian/Ruby Extras team fear that Rubygems will make it much more difficult to package and distribute Ruby software in Debian (similar concerns have been raised by other individuals and GNU/Linux distributions):

  • Rubygems packages are not compatible with the FHS. Rubygems follows the ā€œone directory per package and versionā€ rule.
  • It is not possible to do ā€œnormalā€ (FHS-compatible) installations of rubygems, and some ruby software developers have started to distribute their software as gems only.
  • Rubygems is source-intrusive. The require instruction is replaced by a require_gem instruction to allow for versioned dependencies. Debian and most other systems think that dealing with versioned dependencies outside of the source is a better idea.
  • There are currently no plans to improve RubyGems to ease the work of Debian and RPM packagers. Some RubyGems developers have also showed hostility towards Debian.
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