[Rubygems-developers] Another plug for Simon's patch

Jim Weirich jim at weirichhouse.org
Thu Apr 1 07:28:01 EST 2004

David A. Black wrote:
> [...] I think trying to impose a versioning policy, in the sense of
> telling people which digits have to flip or not flip under what
> circumstances, is about as likely to succeed as telling people they
> can only create a gem if they use Emacs.  

I'm not against a versioning policy.  However, as I tend to have an 
EnablingAttitude (http://martinfowler.com/bliki/EnablingAttitude) rather 
than a DirectingAttitude 
(http://martinfowler.com/bliki/EnablingAttitude), I would phrase the 
policy as a suggestion and then point out the benefits of following the 
policy (e.g. if you manage your versions in /this/ way, then users can 
reliably use the version comparison tools in RubyGems to manage what 
versions are used).  At that point I would let the individual developers 
make their own choices.

Now, exactly /what/ policy to adopt is another question.  I've read the 
example for library-0.0.0, but it's not clicking for me.  I'm not sure 
why, let me think on it a bit and I'll respond later.

> One way or another, some of this is bound to happen in real time, and
> interactively -- that is, whoever is installing a gem has to be
> notified if something is incompatible (which means the gem developer
> has to flag that somehow) or breaks a dependency.  This prospect comes
> naturally to me, since I *want* to know what's being installed (there
> are some things, even on RAA, that I literally don't want on my
> system), so I may not be the best at putting my head inside the
> automatic dependency fetching scenario.

There is a related issue here.  I believe the current behavior is to 
automatically download any missing dependencies.  I do have a small 
problem with the entirely automatic download.  I really would like to be 
notified of the gems (and version) that are needed and would like to 
explicitly approve them.  Debians apt-get does something like that. 
When I install a package, it lists the dependent packages it needs to 
download and asks for a go/no-go decision.  I think that would be a good 

-- Jim Weirich    jim at weirichhouse.org     http://onestepback.org
"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct,
not tried it." -- Donald Knuth (in a memo to Peter van Emde Boas)

More information about the Rubygems-developers mailing list