[Rubygems-developers] [ANN] RubyGems 0.8.3 Released!

Jim Weirich jim at weirichhouse.org
Tue Dec 7 22:28:31 EST 2004

= Announce: RubyGems Release 0.8.3

Wow, over 8000 download of either the RubyGems package or the
RubyGems-update gem!  And over 150 different packages available as a
gem.  Things have really moved foreward.

I am pleased to announce that a new point release of RubyGems is now
available on RubyForge.  This release is mostly a bug fix and code
cleanup release.  But the good news is that there are several really
annoying issues that have been addressed in 0.8.3.

But first ...

== What is RubyGems?

RubyGems is a package management system for Ruby applications and
libraries.  RubyGems one command download makes installing Ruby
software fun and enjoyable again. (Ok, not really.)

Many gems are available for download from the RubyForge site.  Browse
the list of gems with a "gem list --remote" command and download what
you need with a simple "gem install <name-of-gem>".  RubyGems takes
care of the details of installing, not only the gem you requested, but
also any gems needed by the software you selected.

So now you are asking ...

== How can I get all this great stuff?

Well, here's how ...

To download and install:

1. DOWNLOAD FROM: http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=126
3. INSTALL WITH:  ruby setup.rb all  (you may need admin/root privilege)

... or, if you have an existing RubyGem installation ....

  $ gem install rubygems-update  (again, might need to be admin/root)
  $ update_rubygems              (... here too)

I bet you are wondering...

== So What's Changed in this Release?

No real earth shattering news here, but there were a number of really
annoying issues involving other libraries that RubyGems depends upon.
0.8.3 contains some workarounds for these issues.  In particular:

* Added workaround for the null byte in Dir string issue. (see
  (Thanks to Mauricio Fernández for the quick response on this one).

* Added workaround for old version of Zlib on windows that caused
  Ruwiki to fail to install. (see

* Added workaround for large YAML file issues.  (We dynamically cut
  down the size of the source index YAML file and seem to have worked
  around immediate issues.

There has been some minor usability enhancements and changes ...

* A user specific source index cache can be used when the site-wide
  cache is unwritable (i.e. because you are running as a non-admin).
  This *greatly* speeds up gem commands run in non-admin mode when the
  site-wide cache is out of date.

* The gem command now used an HTTP HEAD command to detect if the
  server's source index needs to be downloaed.

* gem check gemname --test will run unit tests on installed gems that
  have unit tests.

* Multiple gem names are allowed on the gem install command line.
  This means you can do:

    gem install rake rails needle postgres-pr pimki

  (Ok, you get the idea)

* Multiple authors my be specified in a Gem spec.

* Switched to using setup.rb (rather than a custom install script) for
  the installation of RubyGems itself.  If you have installed RubyGems
  before, double check the installation instructions and make sure you
  use setup.rb instead of install.rb.

* Ryan Davis has provided a patch so you can use an env variable
  (GEM_SKIP), to tell loadpath_manager not to load gems of those
  names.  This was useful for him while testing libs that he had in

And finally there have been a number of internal changes, enhancements
and just general cleanup.  A lot of work has been done in the remote
installer area (some of which you can see in the caching changes noted
above) in preparation for unifying the local and remote logic so that
there is less difference in installing local gems and remote gems.  In
particular, we want to be able to satisfy dependencies from locally
available gem files.  We are not there yet, but we are working on it.

== Some Random Information about RubyGems

Home Page:: http://rubygems.rubyforge.org
Downloads:: http://rubyforge.org/project/showfiles.php?group_id=126
User Guide:: http://rubygems.rubyforge.org/wiki/wiki.pl?UserGuide

== Summary

Thanks to everyone for the great feedback we have been getting.
Please continue to let us know what you think and what you want.  Many
minor changes in this release were initiated/requested by folks other
than the core gems team.  That's great.

And most of all, keep making and releasing those gems!

-- Jim (for the RubyGems team)

-- 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)

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