[fxruby-users] [Q] Proposed FXRuby 1.2 Feature Name Change
lyle at knology.net
Tue Jul 27 22:20:53 EDT 2004
I am strongly considering changing the feature name -- that is, the
string that you pass to the require() method -- from "fox" to "fox12"
for FXRuby version 1.2. I'd like to hear any comments for and against
such a change.
There are at least a couple of reasons for the change. One reason has
to do with the RubyGems "stub library" feature. If you've been
experimenting with the first few alpha releases of FXRuby 1.2,
specifically the gems-based packages, you know that I've been
recommending this pattern for loading FXRuby:
Well, as it turns out, RubyGems also installs what they call a "stub
library" in the standard Ruby load path, so that you can simply do
and it invokes the magic to load the gem instead. This is, generally
speaking, a nice idea and provides some measure of
backwards-compatibility for legacy (i.e. pre-RubyGems) code that didn't
know to use require_gem. But what in means for FXRuby is that you can't
really have both FXRuby 1.0 and the gem for FXRuby 1.2 installed
simultaneously; if you do, then:
will always load FXRuby 1.2 and never "see" your FXRuby 1.0
installation. Not a good thing. If on the other hand we change the
feature name for FXRuby 1.2 from "fox" to "fox12", RubyGems will
install a stub library called "fox12.rb", which won't clash with older
FXRuby 1.0 installations that used the "fox" feature name.
But perhaps the more compelling reason for a name change at this point
is that the APIs for FXRuby versions 1.0 and 1.2 are so different.
Unless you get incredibly lucky, it's unlikely that a program written
against the FXRuby 1.0 API is going to work out of the box when run
with FXRuby 1.2. And it will be disastrous, in terms of support, if
application developers have this variable floating around, i.e. when
they say require 'fox', is it going to load up version 1.0 or 1.2?
So there you go. If this change goes through, I'm specifically thinking
that (1) the gem name will change from "fxruby" to "fxruby12"; and, (2)
the feature name will change from "fox" to "fox12". If you have an
application or library based on FXRuby 1.0, and don't wish to port it
to FXRuby 1.2 anytime soon, there will be less pressure to do so since
both versions would be able to peacefully co-exist.
I don't intend to change the module name from "Fox", because you can't
use both versions simultaneously within the same application and hence
there should be no opportunity for namespace clashes.
OK, I think that's all I wanted to say to get the ball rolling. Now
please shoot holes in my plan. ;)
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