[Rubygems-developers] Binary distribution

Richard Kilmer rich at infoether.com
Wed Dec 3 20:18:03 EST 2003

On Dec 3, 2003, at 5:31 PM, Chad Fowler wrote:

> I agree re: rake.  But I also like the idea of source gems holding the
> source plus metadata (and the Rakefile).  I personally dont' see any
> reason we wouldn't tightly integrate Rake and Gems for source building.
> Source building sounds like a very complicated thing to support in a
> platform-independent way.

OK...here is my $.02.  I think we should support binary gems, which is 
quite easy right now (the linux compile/dependency issues aside). I 
think that most binary gems will be for windows(like was said before).  
I think that gems should mainly be viewed as a library manager of 
ruby/native extension code, not a build/distribution system.  That 
pure-Ruby gems can be downloaded remotely is nice, but it would also be 
nice to get a .tar.gz of a Ruby library that contained native code 
which I built like usual:

ruby extconf.rb
make test
make install

But what "make" does now, in addition to compiling, is build the gem 
from an included .gemspec file.  Then 'make test' tests in the local 
directories (like now) and 'make install' installs the gem.

What is new/nice about this is that the installed library, being 
installed as a gem, can be versioned, uninstalled, documented (via 
gems), etc.

To me, the real power of gems is management of the ruby libraries  I 
have installed...keeping my site_ruby path clean...and letting me have 
versions of libraries living on my machine in harmony.

If we worked on our own extconf.rb/Makefile (rakefile?) generator that 
included gem support, this would be trivial.


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