[Rubygems-developers] Binary distribution

Lyle Johnson lyle at knology.net
Wed Dec 3 08:45:49 EST 2003


On Dec 2, 2003, at 9:10 PM, Chad Fowler wrote:

> Anyone have any concrete ideas of what might go wrong if we were to 
> try to
> do binary distributions?

First of all, let me say that if there is a way to make this work, I'm 
all for it. However, there are a few variables to consider when you 
start dealing with binary distributions of C/C++ extensions for Ruby.

One variable is the version of Ruby for which the extension was 
compiled. For example, an extension module compiled against the Ruby 
1.8.0 header files and linked against its library may not work with a 
Ruby 1.8.1 installation, depending on how much has changed in Ruby's C 
API. This is a problem for all platforms (Windows, Linux/Unix and Mac 
OS X).

Another variable for C++-based extension modules (on Linux, anyways) is 
which version of g++ was used to compile the extension. This has been a 
problem in the past because the g++ application binary interface (ABI) 
seemed to change for every release of g++. Now, supposedly the ABI is 
stable at this point and this should be less of a problem in the 
future, but I've been burned by this too many times in the past not to 
mention it.



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