[Rubygems-developers] Non-upstream packages

Jim Weirich jim at weirichhouse.org
Wed Dec 8 10:13:12 EST 2004

Mauricio Fernández said:
> I was surprised to see a libbz2-0.4.gem in your repository; surprised
> because the last upstream version is 0.2.1: that's the one listed in
> RAA and what one can download from the primary source.

The gem showed up on the same day that Asami, a GNOME desktop app, was
released.  Sure enough, Asami has a dependency on libbz2 (>= 0.4). 
Checking the Asami download page (http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=359)
show that the libbz2 gem came from there.

I would suggest sending a query to Darren Willis at his gmail account.

Ya'know, it would be nice if there was a direct way to go from browsing
the gems back to the download page where a particular gem originated from.

> On closer inspection, I found a few interesting things:
> * in addition to representing a non-existent (?) upstream version,
>   the .gem is in a deprecated format
> * it doesn't compile the extension automatically
> * the .gem includes a copy of another .gem inside

His gem also includes a number of emacs backup files.  I imagine his gem
generation consists of grabbing everything in the current directory.  The
second time you run it, the gem includes the original generated version of
his gem.  The Nth time you run it, it will include a gem with N-1 nested

It might be fun to download the gem and figure out how many times he built
it ... on second thought, that wouldn't be fun.

> So the general problem is: how can I know who is responsible for a
> given .gem?  Where are bug reports to be sent? Where does it come from
> to begin with: from Rubyforge, direct email submission...??

Gems now support multiple author fields.  If you are repackaging someone
else's software as a gem, you should include both the original author and
your own contact information.

-- 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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